ABOUT PHIL AKASHI

 

BIOGRAPHY

Phil Akashi (Brussels, 1978) is a nomadic artist known for his conceptual and cross-cultural experiments with language, materiality and aesthetics.

Phil Akashi works explore, challenge and engage questions relating to the notions of democracy, power, resistance, and cultural identity.  As a vibrant player in the East/West dialogue, his narratives are critics, sometimes anti-establishment, confrontational, and, at the same time, peaceful and meditative.

Also known as an Alchemist of language, Phil Akashi carved out a unique visual language often combining the use of traditional crafts with techniques of the abstract expressionism and street art movements. Inspired by the work of Xu Bing, Idris Khan and Christopher Wool, he is dedicated to expanding the materiality and aesthetics of words and texts. 

Phil Akashi has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Asia, Europe, and the United States. He recently exhibited at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA) alongside Ai Weiwei, Jenny Holzer and Fung Ming Chip, at the Arsenale in Venice, and at the Power Station of Art (PSA) in Shanghai. His artworks are in royal families and in private collections worldwide and have been featured in international publications such as the Guggenheim, MoMA, Artribune, Fine Art International, RollingStone, Juxtapoz and Blouin Artinfo.  

His most famous and well-received work to date is arguably "Tribute to Mandela", a monumental street art piece which was awarded as a major international public art project in 2013 by the Palo Alto Public Art Commission and was shortlisted for the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize in 2015. 

He became the Belgian representative in the Fashion Art EU Exhibition at the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) in Barcelona in 2016 and at the European Parliament in Brussels in 2014. In 2015, he received an Excellence Award at the Nanjing International Art Festival and was selected by François-Henri Pinault and Nick Hayek among others to participate to the Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency in Shanghai.

Raised in Brussels in the multicultural capital of Europe, Phil Akashi fell in love with art during a visit in the studio of Ado Chale at 12 years of age. Chale's passion for minerals, materials and textures was a revelation for Akashi. Since then, he has experimented through his unique lens of expression. As a nomadic artist, he later lived in New Zealand, Shanghai and Hong Kong where he enjoyed stimulating artistic environments and further deepened his interest in Asian cultures.

 

 

 

CV

AKASHI Phil                      (Belgian, b. 1978)


1978         Born in Brussels, Belgium
2012-14    Lived and worked in Shanghai, China
2014-16    Lived and worked in Hong Kong, China
2016-17    Lived and worked in Singapore

 

GROUP SHOWS AT A MAJOR INSTITUTION

2019   Museum of Modern Art of Algiers (MAMA) - Algiers, Algeria
2018   National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA) - Taichung, Taiwan           
2017   Venice Arsenale (MoCA Italia) - Venice, Italia
2016   European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) - Barcelona, Spain   
2015   Power Station of Art (PSA) - Shanghai, China   
           Opera House - Shanghai, China
           European Parliament - Brussels, Belgium
           Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) - Brussels, Belgium

             

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017   Art+ Shanghai Gallery, Singapore Art Space - A Seal of Unity, A Double Happiness, Singapore
2015   Fabrik Gallery - Rings on Fire, Hong Kong, China  
2014   Ancienne Quincaillerie Vander Eycken - Doll Never Dies, Brussels, Belgium
           Derrick Industrial Building, South Island Cultural District - Doll Never Dies, Hong Kong, China 
2013   Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), China Art Museum, Jing’an Sculpture Park, Moganshan Art
           District (M50), Yuyuan Garden, the Bund, the Waterhouse - Chocolate Beauty, Shanghai, China
           Shanghai Graffiti Park, Street Art project - Tribute to Mandela, Shanghai, China

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS & FAIRS

2019   Museum of Modern Art of Algiers (MAMA) - AlTiba9, Algiers, Algeria
           Rarity Gallery – Rarity Summer Contemporary, Mykonos, Greece
2018   National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMOFA) - 2050, A Brief History of the Future, Taichung, Taiwan
           York Art Gallery - Aesthetica Art Prize, York, UK

2017   Venice Arsenale - Arte Laguna Prize (MOCA Italia), Venice, Italy
           Art+ Shanghai Gallery - Beyond Borders, Shanghai, China
           Hotel Hilton Molino Stucky - Open20, Venice, Italy
2016   European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) - Fashion Art EU, Barcelona, Spain
           Swatch Art Peace Hotel - Faces and Traces, Shanghai, China
           Art Expo Malaysia, Matrade Exhibition & Convention Centre - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
           Asia Contemporary Art Show - Fabrik Gallery, Hong Kong, China
2015   Power Station of Art (PSA) - Street Museum Exhibition, Shanghai, China
           Nanjing International Exhibition Center - A Beautiful New World, Nanjing International Art Festival, China
           Anita Chan Lai-ling Gallery, Fringe Club - Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize, Hong Kong, China
           Shanghai Grand Theatre, Opera House - Fragile Modern Dance Performance, Shanghai, China
           Asia Contemporary Art Show - Fabrik Gallery, Hong Kong, China
           European Parliament - Fashion Art EU, Brussels, Belgium
           Art Basel Hong Kong - South Island Art Night, Hong Kong, China
           Ancienne Quincaillerie Vander Eycken - Group Show, Brussels, Belgium 
2014   NYC Subway - No Ad Augmented Reality Street Art Project, New York, USA 
           The G.I.G. Gallery, Ovolo Hotel Southside - South Island Art Day, Hong Kong, China 
           Art Basel Hong Kong - Wong Chuk Hang Art Night, Hong Kong, China 
           Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) - Art Truc Troc, Brussels, Belgium 
           Phil Akashi Studio - Hong Kong ArtWalk, Hong Kong, China

 

AWARDS & RESIDENCIES

2018   Longlisted, Aesthetica Art Prize, York Art Gallery, UK
2017   Winner Special Prize Open, Arte Laguna Prize (MOCA Italia), Venice Arsenale, Italy 
           Selected artist to represent Belgium, Open20, Hotel Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice, Italy 
2016   Selected artist to represent Belgium, Fashion Art EU, European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM), Barcelona, Spain
           Selected artist to represent Belgium, Art Expo Malaysia, MECC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2015   Shortlisted, Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize, Hong Kong, China
           Excellence Award Winner, Nanjing International Art Festival, Nanjing 
           Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency, Shanghai, China
2014   Selected artist to represent Belgium, Fashion Art EU Exhibition, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium 
2013   Major International Public Art Project, Palo Alto Public Art Commission, California, USA
           Must-See New Public Art Across the Globe, Blouin Artinfo, Seoul, Korea

 

SELECTED REVIEWS AND EDITORIAL PUBLICATIONS 

2019   Collecteurs, Interview with Phil Akashi, Jessica Oralkan, August 15, New York, USA
           Artdaily, Mystical Es Vedrà: a journey into languages, civilizations and cultures, Jose Villarreal, May 20, Mexico
           I Support Street Art (ISSA), Interview Phil Akashi, The Alchemist of Language, Philipp Gor, May 26, Athens
2017   Cafa Art Info, A Seal of Unity: a Double Happiness, Sue Wang, January 9, Beijing, China
2016   The Malay Mail, A decade of artistic excellence, Melanie Chalil, October 22, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2015   European Parliament, Interview with artist Phil Akashi, Brussels, Belgium
           UrbanDNA, Surprise - it’s illicit! Belgian artist Phil Akashi interview, Erin Wooters Yip, May 22, Hong Kong, China
           South Island Cultural District, South Island Art Guide, Phil Akashi interview, Hong Kong, China
           StyleByAsia, Peace for Art, Interview with Belgian artist Phil Akashi, Sandra Smedhall, October 22, Hong Kong, China
           Bazar Magazine, Dans l'atelier de Phil Akashi, Alexia Werrie, November 10, Brussels, Belgium
2014   Fine Art International, Chocolate Beauty Exhibition, January, Berlin, Germany
           My Artreview, The Notion of the Chinese Dream by Phil Akashi, Sabrina Bourbeillon, February 26, Paris, France
2013   Blouin Artinfo, Must-See New Public Art Across the Globe, October 14, Seoul, Korea
           Guggenheim, Friday links: a Mural for Mandela in Shanghai, Lauren Altman, July 19, New York, USA
           Artdaily, Phil Akashi's portrait of South African Peace icon, August 3, Mexico
           Momatalks, Tribute to Mandela, Sarah Kennedy, July 19, New York, USA
           Artribune, L’artista Phil Akashi ritrae Mandela a suon di pugni, Massimo Mattioli, December 5, Italy
           Rolingstone, Artista cria retrato de Nelson Mandela dando socos na parede, September 30, Brazil
           Juxtapoz, Watch: Phil Akashi paints Mandela portrait with 27,000 punches, July 12, San Francisco, USA
           Modernism, Monumental Tribute to Nelson Mandela by Phil Akashi, Cosmin Nasui, July 14, Romania
           BBC News, Big Picture: Nelson Mandela artwork, August 2, London, UK
           Furiamag, Monumental retrato de Nelson Mandela creado con 27.000 golpes, Juan David Gomez, July 18, Colombia
           Arrestedmotion, Overtime: July 8 - July 14, Khoi, July 14, New York, USA
           Le Figaro, Un portrait de Nelson Mandela au poing, Morgane Giuliani, December 6, Paris, France

  

BOOK AND CATALOGUE PUBLICATIONS

2018   2050, A Brief History of the Future, Exhibition catalogue, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan
           Future Now: 100 Contemporary artists, Aesthetica Magazine Ltd.,York, UK 
2017   Open20, Exhibition catalogue, PDG Arte Communications Editions, Venice, Italy 
           Arte Laguna Prize, Exhibition catalogue, Ode Editions, Venice, Italy
2016   Lilong Lives, Urban Explorations, Les Xérographes, Shanghai, China
           Art Expo Malaysia, Exhibition catalogue, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
           Faces and Traces, Swatch Group, Shanghai, China
2015   Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize, Exhibition catalogue, Justice Centre, Hong Kong, China
           Nanjing International Art Festival, Diversified Colors Leading Trends, Global Collection 
           Exhibition catalogue, Nanjing, China
           Rings on Fire Fine Art book, Editions Phil Akashi Studio, Shanghai, China
           Fragile, Modern Contemporary Dance catalogue, D.Lab Dance, Shanghai, China
2014   Fashion Art EU Exhibition, Exhibition catalogue, Fashion Art Institute, Madrid, Spain


LECTURES & WORKSHOPS

2017  Lecture, A Belgian nomadic artist, Singapore Art Space, Art+ Shanghai Gallery, Singapore
2015  Lecture for the Korean Art Management Institute (KAMI), Art Basel Hong Kong, Phil Akashi Studio, Hong Kong, China
2014  Children’s workshop, Fashion Art EU Exhibition, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium 

 

MAJOR COLLECTIONS

Royal Family of South Africa
Royal Family of Malaysia
Bank Degroof Petercam Collection – Belgium
Nelson Mandela Foundation – South Africa 
Morabito Collection – Indonesia
Sofina Collection – Singapore
Fashion Art Institute Collection – Spain
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel Collection – China


OTHERS

Member of the Cercle Royal Gaulois Artistique et Littéraire 

 


Phil Akashi logo


PSEUDONYM: A BELGIAN ARTIST WITH AN ASIAN IDENTITY

Fascinated by the cultural complexity and aesthetics of Asia, Phil Akashi carved out a unique artistic identity. He chose the pseudonym "Akashi" meaning “bright stone” to express his passion for the multifaceted Japanese culture. While living in China, he also enriched his identity with a Chinese name "涛程" meaning "big wave journey" where the two characters were intentionally reversed in order to challenge the structure of the Chinese language. Along with his Chinese name, Japanese pseudonym and Western background, Phil Akashi plays with paradoxes and shares how he views the world as a trans-cultural element.

 

Phil Akashi & Han Hsiang-ning 韓湘寧 MOCA Dali11Phil Akashi & Han Hsiang-ning 韓湘寧 - Dali 2011

 

Lars Nitve and Phil AkashiLars Nitve and Phil Akashi in front of brilliant piece of Liu Wei, It Looks Like a Landscape, M+ Sigg Collection - Hong Kong 2016

 

 

Curator Xia Kejun and Phil AkashiCurator Xia Kejun and Phil Akashi - Nanjing 2015

 

Datuk Sim Tiak Choo, Belgian Artist Phil Akashi with the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Perlis, Malaysia, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin and Tuanku Lailatul ShahreenPhil Akashi with the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Malaysia (Perlis), Tuanku Syed Faizuddin and Tuanku Lailatul Shahreen (acquiring an artwork for the Royal Family collection) - Malaysia 2016

 

 

QIN FENG 秦風 and Phil Akashi HK15 Art Central Galerie du MondeQin Feng 秦風 and Phil Akashi - Hong Kong 2015 

 

Phil Akashi in Times Square Hong Kong
Phil Akashi at Times Square - Hong Kong 

 

Great Wall China Phil Akashi
Phil Akashi at the Great Wall - China  

  

 Phil Akashi at the Everest Basecamp - Nepal
Phil Akashi at the Everest Basecamp - Nepal

 

 


ABOUT SEALS: A JOURNEY INTO HISTORY, TRADITIONS AND CULTURES

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." Confucius

The stamp seal is a carved object, usually stone, first made in the 4th millennium BC, and probably earlier in Mesopotamia. The first seals were used to impress picture or inscription into soft, prepared clay. A seal, in an East Asian context, is a generic name for printing stamps. Their impressions are used in lieu of signatures on personal documents, office paperwork, contracts, art, or any item requiring acknowledgment or authorship. Seals are typically made of stone, sometimes of metal, wood, bamboo, plastic, or ivory. Seals have been used as instruments of identification and symbols of authority in China for at least 2500 years. They were adopted later in other Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan and Korea. To learn more about seals click hereTo learn more about East Asian seals click here.

The art of seal carving Phil Akashi

Importantly, traditional seals in their many forms have played a major role in information systems for thousands of years. Inevitably, the use of modern technologies will replace them. In 2009, the art of seal engraving was inscribed in the UNESCO List as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Watch hereunder a video by 骆芃芃 (LUO Peng Peng).

 

 

ABOUT ADO CHALE, THE ALCHEMIST OF HIGH MINERALS 

"Over the last few decades, Chale has travelled the world in search of rare stones and minerals, and has come to meld lapis-lazuli, hematite, tiger’s eye, rhodochrosite, malachite, turquoise, mother-of-pearl, onyx, and many other natural materials into his work, transforming them into custom-made objects. As an artist-craftsman, he creates masterful mosaics from various precious and semi-precious minerals, including pepper grain and bone. Each object, often fusing together stones from around the world, tell its own storySola Agustsson

Raised in Brussels in the multicultural capital of Europe, Phil Akashi fell in love with art during a visit in the studio of Ado Chale at 12 years of age. Chale's passion for minerals, materials and textures was a revelation for Akashi. Since then, he has experimented through his unique lens of expression. www.adochale.com

Phil Akashi and Ado Chale