Ala Champ

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The New York Artist Unveils A 40m-Wide Companion At The Foot Of Mt Fuji

July, 2019

Not many can execute a monumental feat of a large-scale and site-specific project in such epic proportions. New York artist KAWS (a.k.a Brian Donnelly) in partnership with ongoing collaborator and Hong Kong-based company All Rights Reserved, has brought his familiar Companion as a 40-metre-wide inflated sculpture, that, paired with a camping site makes it a destination for fans and families alike.

Titled KAWS: HOLIDAY, it is the second iteration after the global debut of the 28m-floating Companion first in Seoul’s Seokchon Lake, Korea in 2018, and in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour earlier this year. Now, the travelling Companion is erected at 40-metres-wide for the duration of one week, with campers able to enjoy the large-scale artwork alongside one of Japan’s World Heritage Site, Mt Fuji. As Donnelly explained, “It’s Mt Fuji, so no matter what you put in front of it it’s going to feel small, so we had to make it quite big.” 

The reclining KAWS Companion is a sight to see; with it’s horizontal position in perfect alignment with the active volcano and sacred Japanese mountain. As the KAWS: HOLIDAY Japan Opening Day early morning saw a mesmerising array of red and orange sunrise hues that welcomed the new installation (seen in images below), the unforgivable mountainous region welcomed rains by afternoon. However damp, the mist-filled atmosphere added to a unexplainable enchantment in the air.

Artist Brian Donnelly (KAWS) holds a strong connection with Japan, where he was first introduced to the collectible toy scene, and established strong ties with local influential creatives such as NIGO and Hiroshi Fujiwara to Masamichi Katayama of architecture firm Wonderwall (who later designed KAWS’ original Tokyo store Original Fake, in partnership with Medicom). It is no surprise that his return garnered such a warm reception and unveiling of the unforgettable installation by Mt Fuji.

July 18-24, 2019
Fumotoppara Camping Ground
Mt Fuji / Shizuoka, Japan

KAWS & SK All.RightsReserved (2019) © Photo: Satomi Yamauchi for Ala Champ
Sketch (2019) KAWS: HOLIDAY © KAWS
KAWS: HOLIDAY (2019) © Photo: Satomi Yamauchi for Ala Champ
New York Artist Brian Donnelly (KAWS) 2019 © Photo: Satomi Yamauchi for Ala Champ
KAWS: HOLIDAY (2019) © AllRightsReserved
KAWS: HOLIDAY (2019) © AllRightsReserved
KAWS: HOLIDAY (2019) © AllRightsReserved
July, 2019