HAPPENINGText: Taketo Oguchi

Graphic Airlines is a design duo from Hong Kong that has been introduced on SHIFT in the past. This time, we introduced Hong Kong’s street art using their representative character “Ar Fei”, who has impressive big cheeks. In Hong Kong, the ‘fourth wave’ of the COVID-19 craze is spreading. “How many more days do we have to refrain?” was written in character form on a street wall as their message of wishing for change and growth.

Graphic Airlines “Ar Fei” Street artGraphic Airlines “Ar Fei” Street art
Graphic Airlines “Ar Fei” Street art

Shinji Mitsuzuka is an artist based in Chiba Prefecture. This time, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he created a new work. Named “Slapstick,” means ‘a physical kind of comedy’, this FRP ‘banana peel’ work suggests the fall of a giant being. He says that he aims to make it even bigger in the future, but I hope that we will soon be able to laugh at it like in Chaplin’s comedy, when he steps on it and falls down in a flashy action.

Shinji Mitsuzuka, Slapstick, 2020

This was the first time the event was held online, reaching to approximately 32,468 people in three days, including the preview day. For this year’s event, a video chat system with a real-time translation function was developed, and because it was in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a new opportunity was created for Asian artists, juries, and reviewers to interact through the internet and create new value beyond national borders. In addition, there were conferences, talk events, and performances by participants from various countries that could only be held online.
*All artworks of exhibiting artists can still be viewed in the archive page.

I would like to express my respect to all the creators who decided to participate in Unknown Asia, who are willing to take on the challenges of a new experiment in the midst of global uncertainty.

Date: December 12th – 13th, 2020
VIP Preview: December 11th (by invitation only)
Place: Online (Access unknownasia.net)
Organizer: UNKNOWN ASIA Executive Committee

Text: Taketo Oguchi
Translation: Satsuki Miyanishi

[Help wanted] Inviting volunteer staff / pro bono for contribution and translation. Please e-mail to us.