In 2010 artists Keiichi Tanami of Japan and PHUNK of Singapore collaborated on a series of works expressing a brilliant future where each's typical motifs and characters invade and integrate dramatically into the space of the other. The work successfully unites each artist's vision, and presents the viewer with a vast and open world which contains Tanaami's ideas of memories and dreams and Phunk's ideas of the self and inner world.
Keiichi Tanaami (b. 1936)
Keiichi Tanaami was born in 1936 as the eldest son of a textile wholesaler in Tokyo. He was 9 years old when Tokyo was bombed during the Great Tokyo Air Raid of World War II in 1945. Images seared into the back of his mind at this time would become major motifs in his art works: roaring American bombers, searchlights scanning the skies, firebombs dropped from planes, the city a sea of fire, fleeing masses, and his father's deformed goldfish swimming in its tank, flashes from the bombs reflecting in the waters.
Tanaami later studied illustration and built a successful career while actively participating in the neo-Dada organisation, one of the defining art movements of postwar Japan. At the height of psychedelic culture and pop art, Tanaami's kitschy, colourful illustrations and design work received high acclaim both inside Japan and abroad. In 1975, Tanaami became the first art director of the Japanese edition of Playboy Magazine, "Monthly Playboy", and while in New York to visit Playboy's head office visited Andy Warhol's Factory. Tanaami's works from this period, mostly in the mediums of film and print, were provocative and experimental. The vanguard nature of his work led the police to shut down his 1976 exhibit "Super Orange of Love" at Nishimura Gallery for inspection on the opening day.
Since 2005, Tanaami has been presenting new works that fall in the realm of fine art. In these works, he continues to manifest images from his personal memories and from his dream world -- personified goldfish, deformed characters, rays of light, helical pine trees, fantastical architecture, young girls -- through various mediums of painting, sculpture, film and furniture.
Alvin Tan (b. 1974)
Melvin Chee (b. 1974)
Jackson Tan (b. 1974)
William Chan (b. 1973)
PHUNK is an internationally acclaimed Singapore-based contemporary arts and design collective founded in 1994. They are described as "one of the world's foremost cutting-edge design collectives" (Asia Tatler, Hong Kong) and "iconic representatives of the new wave of young Asian creators" (Get it Louder, China).
They have propagated a visual signature that seamlessly blends and reinterprets their diverse influences such as traditional Chinese craft, philosophy and folklore, Hong Kong wuxia pulp fiction, Japanese manga and otaku subculture, Western popular culture, art and design movements into a singular creative thought that reflects their multi-cultural identity, background and environment.
PHUNK has collaborated and worked with international brands and artists such as Comme des Garçons, Nike, Motorola, MTV, Herman Miller, Uniqlo and The Rolling Stones, among others. They have appeared at the Venice Biennale and were awarded 'Designer of the Year' in 2007 by the President's Design Award, the highest accolade for designers in Singapore.
These works are provided through collaboration with Art Seasons Gallery, Singapore