Internationally renowned artists such as Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, and Brian Donnelly (KAWS) have all incorporated inspiration from toy designing into their portfolio of works.
Toys just like artworks carry the same form of emotional value and have a way of triggering an inner joy and a sense of nostalgia and belonging. In recent years, the practice of artists designing toys in all shapes and sizes has exploded, penetrating the contemporary art market.
ZHAN Art | Space takes this opportunity to introduce oodplex, a Malaysian-based designer toy artist who will debut his first solo exhibition BLEAK which features BEN as the titular character in various forms including life-sized sculptures, digital forms, and artworks.
While pursuing his studies in Bristol England, oodplex first took notice of New Zealand-based toy artist Yoii who was a prodigious talent and fast established herself within the designer toy community.
Having been inspired by her works, oodplex soon debut Raiki, a deer-like creature at Malaysia’s AniManGaki back in 2017 which was later exhibited at the Glitch Gallery, Bristol in 2018.
“I’ve always aspired to have my own toy exhibition. The idea of BLEAK draws upon the feeling of isolation during my student days back in the United Kingdom as well as the most recent Covid-19 pandemic lockdown which triggered old feelings and memories. BLEAK is my expression, my feelings of feeling alone” said contemporary artist oodplex.
Critics can continue to question the distinct differences between the true meaning of art and toys but we leave it up to the viewers and artists to decide. Art, after all, has no boundaries and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Desmond Tong, founder of ZHAN Art | Space believes in the self-expression of an artist regardless of whether in the form of art or toys and should be expressed equally.
BLEAK is scheduled from 13 May to 12 June 2022, comprising paintings, sculptures, and digital works. The works will range from RM 150 to RM 25,000.
Cover image by Zhan Art | Space.