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Daily DripArt & Design

US Artist KAWS Unveils Massive Snowman-Inspired Sculpture in China

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Renowned American artist and designer KAWS (aka Brian Donnelly) has unveiled a new public art installation in the frigid northeastern frontier of China as part of his KAWS:HOLIDAY tour.

The monumental art piece features two of KAWS’s “Companion” characters as giant statues constructed of snow. It is located at Changbai Mountain in Northeast China’s Jilin province, along the China-North Korea border.

KAWS’ seemingly abominable snowman-inspired “Companion” sculpture at Changbai Mountain marks the eighth stop in the KAWS:HOLIDAY tour, following displays last year in the UK, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and even outer space.

“This location in the Changbai Mountain is such an incredible environment, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to show my work here,” KAWS told Hong Kong-based Hypebeast, adding, “With all of the challenges people are facing around the globe, I think it’s a very important time to have public art.”

The ‘certified-cool’ exhibit is launched in partnership with Hong Kong-based creative studio AllRightsReserved (ARR) and is supported by American outdoor apparel company The North Face. For those living in China and keen to visit the latest display on the KAWS:HOLIDAY tour (and hit the slopes at Changbai Mountain, we hope), the snow sculpture will be shown at Changbaishan Luneng Resort from January 6-16.

For those who haven’t been keeping up with KAWS’ overseas artistic exploits over the past couple of decades, it may surprise you to learn that he is no newcomer to China’s art space.

In 2018, KAWS debuted 26-foot-tall bronze sculptures of two of his signature characters, “Companion” and “BFF,” in the Chinese city of Changsha.

The following year, he unleashed a 115-foot-long inflatable sculpture of the “Companion” character on the surface of Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong.

And perhaps most memorably: In June 2019, Chinese shoppers went absolutely bananas over the release of the UNIQLO UT x KAWS special-edition T-shirts, with skirmishes breaking out amongst shoppers and more than one store mannequin left delimbed by the crowds.

Cover image via Instagram

Matthew Bossons
Matt is RADII's managing editor. He is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with a passion for history, untold stories and scuba diving. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Matt has worked as a journalist in China for over half a decade and has had work published in major Chinese media outlets and international publications. He has previously lived in Guangzhou and Beijing.
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