Sneakers, toys and street art land in Phillips with 'Tongue + Chic' sneaker exhibition & '24/7' online sale

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Sneakers, toys and street art land in Phillips with 'Tongue + Chic' sneaker exhibition & '24/7' online sale
Tongue + Chic will open to the public from 9-25 October at Phillips’ Hong Kong galleries in the St. George’s Building.Image courtesy of Phillips.

HONG KONG.- This fall, Phillips auction house will present Tongue + Chic in Hong Kong, an exhibition that brings together an exciting selection of one-of-a-kind sneakers designed by the most influential contemporary artists, such as KAWS, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, and Dave White, one of the world's top tattoo artist Dr. Woo, hip-hop songwriter Swizz Beatz, Gucci Ghost Artist Trevor Andrew and fashion designer Pyer Moss, among others. Tongue + Chic will open to the public from 9-25 October at Phillips’ Hong Kong galleries in the St. George’s Building. Curated by Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, these sneakers represent another medium for art lovers to engage with works by some of the leading artists beyond painting and sculpture.

In conjunction with the sneaker exhibition, Phillips announced its inaugural online-only auction based in Asia, 24/7, which focuses on trend-setting collectibles. Items from the online sale will be exhibited alongside the Tongue + Chic from 9-18 October, providing visitors with a chance to see the pieces in person before being sold to bidders across the globe. Leaning towards a lifestyle-themed curatorial concept, 24/7 offers a wide range of rare Supreme accessories from a private Asian collector, as well as works by sought-after contemporary artists including KAWS, Takashi Murakami and Tomoo Gokita, who draw inspiration from American cartoons, Japanese anime, graffiti and street art. In light of diverse collecting trends across Asia, the 24/7 online sale also presents artworks by emerging in-demand artists such as Daniel Arsham, Austin Lee, Hebru Brantley and Matt Gondek. Highlights include the international debut of a set of sculptures by Matt Gondek, executed in bronze for the first time. In addition, Indonesian artist Ronald Apriyan, a rising star in South East Asia’s art scene, has created a painting based on his ‘popular icons’ series exclusively for the online sale which also marks Apriyan’s first feature on an international auction platform.

Isaure de Viel Castel, Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Phillips Asia, said, “Street culture has exploded in recent years, growing from a niche collecting community to a full-blown cultural phenomenon. A new generation of art collectors are discovering fresh, new artists that relate directly to their own lifestyle. Engaging with emerging and young collectors has always been part of Phillips’ DNA; hence we are delighted to present an exhibition that brings together key elements of street culture – sneakers, neo-pop art and toys, as well as Supreme accessories. Aside from established names such as KAWS and Takashi Murakami, 24/7 also offers works from fresh and in-demand artists who have created a unique visual language spanning popular culture, abstract painting and art history.”

Elizabeth Semmelhack, Curator of Tongue + Chic, Senior Curator at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, said, “Today, prominent artists are engaging with the complicated cultural significance of sneakers by creating thought-provoking and highly covetable works that straddle the divide between fashion and art. Their work points to new directions that sneakers can take as vehicles for social engagement. From works that reimagine the architecture of sneakers to those that use sneakers to advocate for change, the works in this exhibition show just how far a pair of sneakers can go.”

Tongue + Chic sneaker exhibition and the 24/7 online sale aim to celebrate the collision of art, fashion and commodities, as well as to engage with art enthusiasts and trendsetters who are interested in pop culture and urban fashion. In addition, to continue with Phillips’ commitment to support the development of the local art scene, Phillips will invite Hong Kong visual artist Ernest Chang to create an original artwork in the gallery as part of the exhibition.

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