:PHUNK “WELCOME TO ELECTRICITY”

HAPPENINGText: Wakana Kawahito

A leading design and art team from Singapore and other Asian countries, :phunk is holding their solo exhibition in Japan for the first time at DIESEL DENIM GALLERY AOYAMA from July 23 to October 11.

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Exhibition view, :phunk “WELCOME TO ELECTRICITY” / Photo: TAKAMURADAISUKE

:phunk is a contemporary art & design team formed in 1994 by 4 members who met at Lasalle College of Arts in Singapore. Their work shows their strong influence on Singapore’s diverse cultural environment, which are reconstructed and reinterpreted by mixing various elements such as traditional Chinese craft, philosophy, and folklore, Chinese pulp fiction, Japanese manga and otaku subculture, Western pop culture, art and design. As a result it embodies Singapore’s multiculturalism itself.

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“control chaos”

Their exhibition “WELCOME TO ELECTRICITY” showcased works continuously created in various methods expressing their concept “universality”. In their past works they have been blending a wide rage of elements such as Buddhism and Chinese culture – afterworld, present, past, heaven and hell, and Chinese zodiac, the current complex web of the rapid economic society and mass culture. This flow continued in this exhibition, showing elements of, for instance, “control chaos(part)” drawn on the cardboard and characterized robots “Electric Bogleland”.

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“ELECTRICITY”

A new attempt, however, was challenged by the biggest piece for this exhibition “ELECTRICITY.” While it was created under the concept “universality”, it was described more in an abstract expression in terms of their selection of motifs and methods.

ELECTRICITY is an “imaginary city” which blends various cultures and ideas. It was inspired by cities where :phunk has visited such as Barcelona, Hong Kong, New York, Berlin, and Tokyo, but specifies none of them. It seems the very 21th-century form of “universality” is expressed on the “megalopolis”, which is based upon people’s power by transcending borders of races, countries, and Western and Eastern thinking.

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Exhibition view, :phunk “WELCOME TO ELECTRICITY” / Photo: TAKAMURADAISUKE

ELECTRICITY was made by transcribing computer graphics onto a wood piece. When transcribing, they intentionally made blurs and gaps, which allows for people to feel the megalopolis is their own hometown.

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Exhibition view, :phunk “WELCOME TO ELECTRICITY” / Photo: TAKAMURADAISUKE

This big artwork was made in collaboration with a Singaporean video artist, Brandon Tay. By mapping animation of a flash light, buildings pop up in three dimensional and cars running on the highway. It seems as if the light brought ELECTRICITY into life. (This collaboration is shown until August 22.)

As the light can only be viewed when it is dark, you can enjoy different views in the daytime and night. It is highly recommend to view the artwork in both time ranges.

:phunk “WELCOME TO ELECTRICITY”
Date: July 23rd – October 11th, 2010
Open: 13:00-20:00
Holidays: Non-regular Holiday
Place: DIESEL DENIM GALLERY AOYAMA 2F
Address: 6-3-3 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81-3-6418-5323
Support: Embassy of the Republic of Singapore
Curator: ASHU
http://www.diesel.co.jp/denimgallery

Text: Wakana Kawahito
Translation: Mariko Takei

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