Gosh, I wonder if it will come here to Malaysia which I think is very low in probability. Looked at those designs – ooooh, I want to buy them all!
Famous beagle marks new artistic territory
Out of countless animal characters that have delighted the young and old for centuries, none has been more popular than the beagle named Snoopy. Although Charles M. Shultz, the creator of the very humanized dog, passed away seven years ago, the classic beagle remains far more popular than his competitors, including the cowardly Great Dane, Scooby Doo, and the gluttonous orange short- haired cat,Garfield, in popularity.
“Snoopy Life Design,” which is being held at the Seoul Arts Center’s Hangaram Design Museum until Sept. 16, is a traveling exhibition originally planned to commemorate the birth of the canine superstar and his round-headed human pals, including his owner Charlie Brown.
The event, which features both artworks and practical items inspired by Snoopy and his friends, has attracted many fans of the cartoon characters – people who are eager to have photos taken of themselves near some cool part of the exhibit.
As Snoopy always does in “Peanuts,” the beagle here disguises himself with various colors and artifacts, which transforms him into exhibition items. Namaiki (meaning naughty or rebellious in Japanese), a U.K. and Tokyo art collective, created differing alter egos of Snoopy as a farmer, a flying ace and a dancer by decorating him with various artifacts including colored threads, fake eyeballs, plastic lizard and more, while Masataka Kurashina, Japanese custom painter and illustrator, depicts highly decorative and strangely gothic Snoopy images using an air brush and lacquer.
Yayoi Kusama, well-known for his soft sculptures speckled with dots and phallic protrusions, uses dabs of red spots, plus green paint and gold-painted macaroni to decorate her Snoopeys. Fashion designer Eri Utsugi dresses Linus, Lucy, Charlie Brown, Woodstock and Snoopy in cute, furry outfits.
To loyal fans of the character, such artistic elaborations seem to be meaningful only when they make the cute and cuddly puppy stand out more, but taking a closer look to the items, the exhibition also gives some valuable insights into what constitutes art today, especially in the realm of media and pop culture figures.
Naoto Fukasawa’s “Celebrity” shows Snoopy with his black and white parts reversed — his nose, ears, and eyes are white, and the rest is black. By doing this, the Japanese designer encourages non-famous viewers to face up to the gloomy recognition that “we are not one of them” – not a celebrity. His other work titled “Nap” shows Snoopy sleeping on the roof of his doghouse, with one side of his home showing fragments of his canine day dreams.
Divided into sections titled “Art Stage” and “Living Stage,” the show also features an assortment of Snoopy-themed merchandise created for the exhibition, which include lingerie, perfume and even nail art. Tea specialist Kumazaki Shuntarou has prepared some special mixed assortments of tealeaves, each of which named after the characters (Linus, for example, is a combination of Asam and Kenyan tea, which, according to him, goes perfectly with pumpkin pie).
The artists and designers express their unique artistic creativity through Snoopy and his gang, in a manner that is similar to what fashion designers do through their models. And, with the famous cartoon dog at the center of this show, an otherwise abstract and complicated world of modern art seems to be much more digestible, if not enjoyable. The exhibition is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (last ticket sales at 7 p.m.) Ticket prices range from 8,000 won to 10,000 won, depending on one’s age. For more information, call (02) 464-4266.
Source: Korea Herald, by Lee Yong-sung