A few days ago, IFA Paris students of the MBA Luxury Brand Management program went to discover the major exhibition «Kaws: Where the End Starts» at Yuz Museum, the major contemporary art museum located in the West Bund area of Shanghai. It is the largest exhibition of Kaws giant artworks, the first in China and with around one hundred pieces exhibited, also the very first one in Asia!
The American and Brooklyn-based artist Kaws is one of the most influential artists of his generation and a pop culture sensation. Over the last two decades, he has built a strong career by straddling the normally separate divides between graffiti, design and art, with imagery that took shape early on in the streets and then evolved into merchandise and goods, such as vinyl toys, figures and apparel; product design, like skateboard decks; and paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. Kaws is a symbol of multiple collaborations between art, fashion and luxury! For example, he helped design the Air Jordan 4 sneakers!
«It’s a fact, beginners or established artists, collaborate more and more with fashion and luxury companies, explains Adile Cretallaz, Director of the CAC (Career Alumni Center) of IFA Paris. Look at the last Chanel exhibition at the Louvre Museum, with Chanel painted bags, or the Swatch Peace Hotel in Shanghai playing the role of a local Villa Medicis helping to launch artists!» And Adile Cretallaz to quote François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, recalling recently in the New York Times that «luxury, art and technology have always converged, often producing a rich and productive relationship – provided each discipline remained true to itself.» IFA Paris intends to increase the attention of its students towards this key trend.
Through the exhibition, students were sure not to miss exploring the breadth of the artist’s career, including his street interventions from the 1990s; toys and products; early figurative paintings, abstract canvases, sculptures ranging from slightly larger than life to monumental. The students learned how Kaws successfully fused his talents to create his «signature». This is what advertising agencies simply call «branding»!
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Yuz Museum, 35 Fenggu Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai