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The Return of KAWS’ Statue to Hong Kong

  • The Return of KAWS’ Statue to Hong Kong
August 26, 2014

As a young graffiti artist and later on a street artist whose work had become present on New York City’s billboards, phone booths and bus stops, Brian Donnelly set on a path of becoming a designer, but never to forget his urban art origins. After finishing the School of Visual Arts in New York, KAWS began working as a freelance designer, and in the late 1990s he started the conquest of the Asian market which echoed globally. Today, KAWS is known for his ability to articulate the different worlds of fine art and urban art with the worlds of commerce and popular culture. All of this can be seen on the face of the Companion

The Return of KAWS’ Statue to Hong Kong
OriginalFake

The Passing Through Companion

In October 2010, KAWS installed a huge statue in Hong Kong’s Harbour City, as a part of Passing Through exhibition. The statue of the now famous Companion resides in the middle of a busy point in the urban surroundings of one of the biggest economic centers of Asia. The piece is a hybrid of contemporary popular culture references, especially the Disney’s Mickey Mouse. KAWSCompanion itself became a notable part of the popular culture, through the series of toys and even as a part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In a way, it is a reflection of KAWS’ presence on the Asian market and his year long activities involving the design and creation of collectable toys in Japan and rest of Asia.

The Return of KAWS’ Statue to Hong Kong
KAWS, Passing Through companion, Hong Kong, 2010

KAWS and Toys

It was the period of the late 1990s, when the street artist became involved in the design and production of vinyl toys. It was the success of these limited edition pieces with the toy-collecting community which made way for the collaboration with Medicom Toy. This fruitful combination was the key for creating OriginalFake, a store for limited edition toys, and later clothes, created by the company and KAWS. Through this venture, KAWS’ Companion was transformed in many different iterations, including Boba Fett of Star Wars, as well as the now very famous Pinocchio companion. In May 2013, KAWS announced that, after seven years, the collaboration with Medicom Toy has come to an end of sorts, and called the fans and followers to prepare for the next chapter…

The Return of KAWS’ Statue to Hong Kong
Companion collectables

The Clean Slate Sculpture

On September 18th the Companion is returning to Hong Kong, carrying two others in his hands. The 7 meters tall companion(s) will be on show until October 19th, when it is scheduled to start a journey around the world. The statue is called CLEAN SLATE and it is one of the most complex pieces of KAWS, since includes the two companions being carried by one (much) bigger one. The exhibition at Harbour City was produced by AllRightsReserved, just like the PASSING THROUGH project, four years ago. Perhaps this is, in fact, KAWS’ way to keep his promise to the fans and begin a new chapter, in a familiar context, but with a clean slate…

The Return of KAWS’ Statue to Hong Kong
Companions

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