:phunkTanaaMIX :phunk & Keiichi Tanaami

 :phunk & Keiichi Tanaami, "Shangri-La Floating in the Waves", 2010, Silkscreen Print, 72.8 x 103 cm

      Art Seasons Gallery is pleased to announce “:phunkTanaaMIX –  :phunk & Keiichi Tanaami”, an exhibition featuring the collaborative paintings and silkscreen prints by noted Singaporean art collective :phunk studio and Japanese artist Keiichi Tanaami. When :phunk, a younger generation artists, met their long time inspiration, Keiichi Tanaami, each artist’s enduring vision of utopia found a candid comrade.
      Psychedelic dreamland of :phunk and Tanaami invites the viewer to an enchanting parade of eccentric characters  and vibrant colors. Resulting from this collaborative project, each artist’s portrayal of a new world carries on a dialogue and manifest into a seductive utopia.

Exhibition Highlights
:phunk & Keiichi Tanaami "Din and Bustle in Japanese Room" 2010
Acrylic on Canvas
145.5 x 194 cm

:phunk & Keiichi Tanaami  "Feast in the Peachy Heaven" 2010
Silkscreen Print
72.8 x 103 cm

:phunk  studio is a creative art and design collective found in 1994 by four members; Alvin Tan (b. 1974), Melvin Chee (b. 1974), Jackson Tan (b. 1974) and William Chan (b. 1973). Beyond their multi-cultural backgrounds, their passion for art and design, rock and roll, pulp fiction, manga, and Chinese mythology brought these Singaporean artists/designers together. Their boundless multi-disciplinary approach incorporates typography, design, graffiti, animation, and sound. In their seemingly non-sensical world filled with quirky characters, :phunk finds an asylum that embraces diversity and uniqueness. Their works are internationally known for their decidedly cool and amiable characters. They have received the President’s Award (Singapore) in 2007 and their works were included in major exhibitions such as the 2007 Animamix Biennale, Singapore representative at the Gwangju Design Biennale 2005 and the London Design Festival 2006. In 2005, the Singapore History Museum held their 10 year retrospective exhibition 'A Decade of Decadence'. 
:phunk’s notion of universality, being one of their important conceptual frameworks, emerges from the current globalization and technological advancement. In “Control Chaos”, :phunk has portrayed a new world where heaven, earth and hell coexist according to their own conflicting universal truism. Each character in this new world has its own sets of orders and lives according to those truths it values. However, when the distinct universes of the characters are put together, the result is a symptomatic chaos – like the title, it is a “Control Chaos”. Beyond the humorous icons and contradictions, :phunk suggests a glimpse of postmodern identity – singular and universal. In that, the characters maintain their individual identity/universe without being classified or categorized, and yet, they also coexist inside the boundaryless chaos. This chaos, in the post-mechanical age, might be a new vision of fluid utopia.

Keiichi Tanaami (b. 1936) was born in Tokyo and has been an active artist, illustrator and graphic designer since the 1960’s. During the mid 60’s, Tanaami became influenced by psychedelic culture and Pop Art. Moreover, sprung from his life experience during the WWII and his struggles to survive pleurisy, he kept himself occupied with thoughts about the finitude of life and explored visions of an unworldly utopia. Drawn from dreams and childhood memories, the repeated introduction of pine tree, gold fish, Japanese crest, beam, explosion and spiral formation exemplify Tanaami’s vision of another universe.

Encountering Andy Warhol in the late 60’s triggered him to delve deeper into the notion of art and design – or art and daily life. In 1975, Tanaami became the first Art Director of Playboy (Japanese Edition). Reflecting his commitment to go beyond conventional boundaries of art, Tanaami experimented with diverse spectrum of genres including film, lithography, painting and sculpture. He has been a professor of Kyoto University of Art and Design since 1991, and his work has been the subject of many major exhibitions.
The “Kochuten” series, exhibited in the current exhibition, developed from an ancient Chinese mythology about a heaven that existed in a small pod. In his own words, Tanaami describes this new series:
“My latest paintings have Calabash, which has nothing to do with Eros. It is because I describe the world of ‘Kochuten’, inspired by Chinese ancient story. In the Han era, there lived an old man who was a dealer of medicines, but he was actually an immortal. Every night he jumped into a pod shaped like a Calabash, in where the magnificent palace with innumerable castles exists. There is the world of immortals which has the whole universe in a tiny pod. It is the Shangri-La beyond time and space, and it is the ultimate utopia.” (Keiichi Tanaami)

:phunkTanaaMIX - :phunk & amp; Keiichi Tanaami exhibition
Opening Reception: Friday, 8 October, 2010, 7 - 9pm – The artists will be present at the Opening Reception
Dates : 8 October – 31 October, 2010
Venue : ART SEASONS, Kaki Bukit Road 1 Eunos Technolink Block 7 #02-12 Singapore 415937

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