BAPE GALLERY™ once again melds fashion with art in a global art tour spanning four cities, kicking off in Beijing. Established in 2002, BAPE GALLERY™ by Japanese label A BATHING APE® is an inclusive art platform that advocates for diversity in creativity, bridging fashion with art, culture, music, and more to present groundbreaking contemporary innovations from Japan to the world.
Over the last 20 years, BAPE GALLERY™ has worked and exhibited with internationally renowned artists, designers, and creatives to drive towards a culturally and artistically diverse contemporary space, collaborating with the likes of Hajime Sorayama, KAWS, FUTURA, STASH, Tetsu Nishiyama, Takahiro Miyashita, and more.
To celebrate 30 years of BAPE® , the gallery invites 12 up-and-coming and established artists from around the world to create 16 never-before-seen artworks that highlight the monumental influence of the brand as a cultural mainstay.
The exhibition premiers in Beijing Parkview Green, Chaoyang District from 12 January to 30 June 2023, with stops in New York, London, and Tokyo.
BAPE GALLERY™ BEIJING
Date: January 12th – June 30th 2023
Time: 10:00AM – 10:00PM
LG1-21 & LG2-19, Parkview Green FangCaoDi, No. 9 Dong Da Qiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
On the first floor of the exhibition, artworks from 12 international artists (Adam Lister, Alvaro Ilizarbe, Arkiv Vilmansa, Eric Inkala, Jasper Wong, Lilkool, Sam Taylor, Simone Legno, Steven Harrington, Tomotatsu Gima, Oso de Agua, and SHARK SEIJIN) draw inspiration from the classic camouflage pattern and iconic APE HEAD logo to create a visual story of BAPE®’s impact on fashion, art, street culture, and more. A special SHARK SEIJIN display reinterprets the brand’s iconic house codes, and three sculptures from artist Arkiv Vilmansa highlight classic BAPE® elements, all paying tribute to the brand’s roots as a disruptive and trailblazing brand.
「BABY MILO®️ & MICKIV IN BANANA BOAT」
「DOMMA | APE HEAD」（左）、「DOMMA | BABY MILO®️ HEAD」（右）
BAPE® expands beyond the physical — brand new immersive digital experiences take visitors on a journey through the brand’s classic elements like the APE HEAD, with limited-edition artworks displayed on interactive screens.
A collection of BABY MILO® metal statues will be unveiled during the exhibition.
Calling all collectors — spot BAPE® PLAY figurines and art toys on display, collected over the years since the brand’s founding. Featuring a collection of BABY MILO® metal statues, 34 units of 1000% BAPE® BE@RBRICK models, collectible skateboards, and more, highlighting BAPE®’s ever playful personality across 30 years since its establishment.
34 units of 1000% BAPE® BE@RBRICKs line-up the exhibition space, including special collaboration BE@RBRICK with renowned Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama. Also with collectible skateboards showcase variations of BAPE®’s signature camo.
From the living room to the bedroom, the BAPE® HOME exhibition space features goods designed through the collaboration of BAPE® x FABRICK x KARIMOKU. With the ABC camouflage sofa, folding table and square shelf, to the lineup of cushions, coffee tables, skateboards and more. Integrating the BAPE® DNA into everyday, the resulting space melds contemporary lifestyle with a hint of street sophistication. Prints of featured artworks from the BAPE® Art Space will be on display and available for purchase.
40 pairs of archival BAPE STATM sneakers alongside new BAPE® sneakers will be featured on a wall display — sneakerheads take note! Select sneakers and apparel will be available for purchase.
SHARK SEIJIN Art Toys
SHARK SEIJIN, a longstanding icon of BAPE GALLERY™, has specially created 6 art toy figurines to mark this occasion. Available in White, Black, Milky White, Electric Silver, Sprayed Silver, and Sprayed Gold, SHARK SEIJIN’s classic humanoid design is electroplated and spray painted to achieve a flawless finish. The art toys are in a limited edition of 30 and will be available for pre-order — don’t miss out!
Exclusive (B)APETAVERSE Limited Collection
BAPE GALLERY™’s first stop in Beijing will see the debut of the (B)APETAVERSE exclusive limited collection, inspired by the ape-verse established in 2022. With hoodies, sweats, long-sleeved and short- sleeved t-shirts, the capsule captures 3D digital works in physical form, making for an out-of-this-world collection that bridges the virtual with the physical world.
BAPE STA™ 2023 Spring/Summer Collection
The all-star line-up sees new styles added this Spring/Summer season, with high- and low-tops and various styles sporting high-quality materials, and a rainbow of colors and designs — just the thing to step up the daily fit.
Available for pre-order, BAPE® HOME pieces from the BAPE® x FABRICK x KARIMOKU & BAPE® x TENDO collaboration include the ABC camouflage sofas, chairs, storage boxes, coffee tables, and daily items. Embracing the concept of “trends originating from life”, a visual spectacle of BAPE®’s iconic patterns are made into everyday furnishings, adding the quintessential street aesthetic to any home.
B. 1978 NEW YORK, USA
Born in Beacon, New York, Adam Lister is a multi-disciplinary artist most well known for his geometric interpretations of iconic imagery and pop culture references. Deconstructing classic images down to its most elemental form, Lister explores and combines geometric shapes, flat cubist-like compositions, and the minimal aesthetic of pixelated graphics to visually capture mental images — highlighting the complexity and simplicity of the imagination and visual imagery.
Delving into the relationship of nostalgia and mathematics, Lister reimagines the classic original Ape Head logo in his pixelated painting technique. One of five paintings in a series, this work explores color (yellows contrasted with blacks) to capture the essence of BAPE® .
B. 1981 LIMA, PERU
Born in Lima, Peru, and based in Los Angeles, Alvaro Ilizarbe is a multi-disciplinary artist whose works interact with his daily surroundings. Using patterns, cypher, pre-Columbian linework, and the language of advertising, Ilizarbe creates works that explore the energy between things, forming multiple dialogues with space, place, and art. Immersed in his intricate landscape, Ilizarbe’s work often relates to architecture, completely altering it to offer the viewer a separate universe in which to exist — like stepping into the other side of a mirror.
Ilizarbe contrasts the iconic warped Ape Head logo with angular line-work, with gridded graphic line- work hiding a message in plain sight, much like traditional camouflage. Each square is a letter of the English alphabet, re-interpreted to create an encrypted code.
B. 1979 BANDUNG, INDONESIA
Indonesian contemporary artist Arkiv Vilmansa’s iconic cartoon-inspired paintings emphasize two- dimensional forms through bold outlines with vivid and vibrant colors. Traditionally trained as an architect, Vilmansa’s structured and critical methodology contrast with his raw and unrestrained artistic expression. Through a self-developed formula that controls painting surfaces and paint texture, Vilmansa’s pop cultured-inspired works explore non-figurative art and cartoon character paintings through the use of color, organic shapes and canvas shapes. His use of colors, shapes, and lines are influenced by creative industry leaders Takashi Murakami and NIGO.
Vilmansa transforms the brand’s house codes with his signature, cartoon-inspired style. Blending his character Mickiv with Ape Head, curves and colors present his vision of a transcendent kind of creativity — inspired by BAPE®’s extraordinary legacy.
Eric Inkala is a Brooklyn based painter whose highly visual and ever-evolving style has ripened from graffiti to pop art to contemporary art. Inkala is inspired by his relationship with color, love for abstraction and draws from various life experiences for his work. Most recently, Inkala has collaborated with Coach on a limited edition sneaker and mural campaign as well as recent large scale murals for clients such as, Common (@hi.common), ODA New York, Oddfellows NYC and various collaborations with The Bushwick Collective. His works have also been included in recent art fairs such as Art Madrid, Affordable Art Fair UK, and Affordable Art Fair Brussels with ARTITLEDcontemporary (Netherlands).
Incorporating his signature elements with BAPE®’s iconic camo, Inkala ventures into pattern work — a first for the artist — with each painting a variant of the other. Lining up the paintings and flipping through will make it appear as if the image is animated.
B. 1983 HONOLULU, HAWAII, USA
Jasper Wong is an artist, illustrator, and curator who has exhibited worldwide. Having worked with Hulu, NBA, Uniqlo, Versace, Microsoft, Toyota, Marvel, and more, Wong has devoted his career to fostering new connections through art, reframing conversations on public and private spaces, and how art and NFTs can be used as a tool for inclusivity. Wong is also the Founder of ABOVE SECOND gallery in Hong Kong, Creator and Lead Director of World Wide Walls (formerly POW! WOW!), and Co-founder of community art center LANE LANE STUDIOS. Wong spends most of his free time teaching art classes at Palama Settlement, a community center in an underserved community.
Highlighting the power and beauty of BAPE® , Wong puts his own special spin on the classic camo pattern. Created around the concept of “all eyes on you... while rocking BAPE®”, Wong transforms every element of the pattern into faces with big eyes.
B. 1985 DALLAS, TEXAS, USA
Joshua Maupin — creator of LILKOOL Studios, is a Brooklyn-based graffiti writer-turned-painter with a soft spot for the bold lines of classic cartoonists. Inspired by 1990s culture and its accompanying skate scene, LILKOOL pays homage to pop art legends through his colorful works, while simultaneously drawing inspiration from the streets of New York City, classic cartoon culture and the underground 1970s comic book scene.
Inspired by the ever-changing graffiti art on NYC building façades with layers of spray paint overlapping each other to create a camouflage, LILKOOL reinterprets the BAPE® camo pattern to best represent the industrial environment of New York.
OSO DE AGUA
B. 1988 Diego Florez Gonzalez, Lima, Peru
B. 1990 Brunella Berscia Ciccia, Chiclayo, Peru
Oso de Agua is an art collective duo formed by plastic artist Diego Florez Gonzalez and audiovisual communicator Brunella Berscia Ciccia. Working in various mediums such as canvas, mural, and sculpture, Oso de Agua is inspired by and presents nature in abstract form.
Drawing inspiration from nature, artist duo Oso de Agua renders Ape Head in an abstract setting. Visual details refer to the magnified structure of natural organisms, resulting in an organic, abstract pattern and colorful palette.
B. 1988 LEICESTER, UK
Widely acclaimed illustrator Sam Taylor’s work is instantly recognizable for its bold line work, bright colors, and fun character design clashing with a ton of different pop culture, found in his work with Nike, Samsung and Nickelodeon, and editorial commissions for publications such as Bloomberg Businessweek, The Guardian and The New Yorker — everything is underpinned with a massive dollop of humor and bursting with excitement. Taylor’s works are closely tied to matters of daily life.
Taylor’s characters have taken over the BAPE® logo — twisted, mingled and joining forces for a pop art-inspired look, cartoonish elements interact with the classic iconography for a fun look that, as the artist puts it, “got very wormy”.
B. 1993 Tokyo, Japan
A longstanding icon of BAPE GALLERY™, SHARK SEIJIN is an enigmatic contemporary artist whose works speak for itself. With a background in fashion and fine arts media, the artist actively blurs the distinction between aesthetic contemplation and functional representations, creating works that bring forth BAPE®’s unique interpretation of art and fashion. Mysterious and experimental, SHARK SEIJIN draws focus to his works of art rather than himself.
A colorful rendition of BAPE®’s iconic camo print presents SHARK SEIJIN’s unique outlook as a longtime icon of the brand. With psychedelic colors and abstract shapes, the artist brings focus to BAPE®’s legacy as a brand standing at the intersection of art and fashion.
B. 1977 ROME, ITALY
Simone Legno is the Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of tokidoki. Born in Rome, Italy, Legno drew incessantly as a child. Boxes of chewed, broken and unsharpened pencils were the beginnings of a passion for art that led to the eventual creation of tokidoki. Since officially launching in 2005, tokidoki has grown into an internationally recognized pop-culture lifestyle brand, amassing a cult-like following for its larger-than-life characters, megawatt partnerships and extensive range of products from apparel and handbags to home décor and even slot machines.
A mish-mash of BAPE®’s signature iconography and Legno’s design language, the camo pattern, BABY MILO® , and other BAPE® characters appear with tokodoki’s signatures for an east-meets-west aesthetic inspired by global urban icons, subcultures, Americana icons, Japanese pop culture, and more.
B. 1979 Los Angeles, California, USA
Cited as the leader of a contemporary Californian psychedelic-pop aesthetic, Los Angeles–based artist and designer Steven Harrington is best known for his bright, iconic style that encourages a two-way conversation between artist and viewer. The timeless quality in his playful yet contemplative work is inspired by California’s mystique, vastly diverse landscape and thriving mix of cultures. Embracing a multimedia approach, Harrington’s portfolio includes large-scale installations made of fiberglass and steel, hand painted canvases, limited-edition books, skateboards, and sculptures.
Adding his interpretation of classic BAPE® icons to the creative legacy of the brand, Harrington reworks the camo print and creates 'A BATHING MELLO.' Viewers can spot his most famous characters peering through — an homage to how BAPE® has shaped his creative outlook over the years.
B. 1976 Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Hailing from the island of Okinawa, Japan, Tomotatsu Gima grew up under the influence of Japanese and American cartoons and pop art. Creating collages of logos and color prints on corrugated cardboard boxes, which he calls POP COLLAGE, disposed cardboard boxes serve as the material for his art, with any trash created in the process recycled. Merchandise transported in the boxes he uses as a medium became a motif of his art; by creating works using globally recognized products, he aims to inspire others to think about the meaning of “distribution” and “consumption”.
A witness to BAPE®’s growth as a brand and a cultural phenomenon, Gima recreates BAPE® camo print, Ape Head, and BAPE STA™ with cardboard, as a reminder of a global community connected through the sending and receiving of BAPE®’s iconic creations.