Phil Akashi (Brussels, 1978) is a nomadic artist known as an Alchemist of language.  

He travels the world in search of aesthetically inspiring or endangered languages, words and texts and transform them into multi-layered and abstracted compositions to archive our present time and to tell his own stories.

Akashi’s works and cross-cultural experiments explore and challenge themes of democracy, cultural identity, power, and resistance. As a vibrant player in the East/West dialogue, he often employs traditional crafts, materiality, and a wide range of media such as paintings, drawings, installations, site-specific interventions, and sculptures.

Akashi’s influences range from a myriad of cultural inspirations of his nomadic lifestyle but also from pioneering Asian artists such as Xu Bing, Park Seo-Bo, to Western artists such as Christopher Wool, Cy Twombly.

He has been selected to represent Belgium at the 9th Beijing Biennale at the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC). He exhibited at the Power Station of Art (PSA) in Shanghai, at Kunsthalle Zürich, at the Museum of Modern Art of Algiers (MaMA) and at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA). His artworks are in royal families and in private collections worldwide and have been featured in international publications such as the Guggenheim, MoMA, RollingStone, Juxtapoz and Blouin Artinfo. 

He received the special prize Open (MOCA Italia) at the Venice Arsenale in 2017, the Excellence Award at the Nanjing International Art Festival in 2015, the Major International Public Art Project by the Palo Alto Public Art Commission in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize in 2015. 

Raised in Brussels, in the multicultural capital of Europe, in a family active in the extraction of Porphyry, Akashi learnt the passion for crushed stone at an early age. At 12 years of age, Phil Akashi visited the studio of Ado Chale, the Alchemist of high minerals. Since Meeting Chale and his passion for stones and minerals, he started to develop his interest into materiality and crafts.  Many years later when he was living in Shanghai, he discovered the art of seal carving and the calligraphy and started to create artworks using traditional seals. Since then, he has experimented through his unique lens of expression. As a nomadic artist, he later lived in Hong Kong and Singapore where he enjoyed stimulating artistic environments and further deepened his interest in Asian languages and cultures.

He currently lives and works between Barcelona, Brussels and Hong Kong. 




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
2018-19    Lived and worked in Hong Kong and Switzerland
2020-        Lives and works between Brussels, Barcelona and Hong Kong 



2022   National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), Beijing Biennale - Beijing, China
2020   Kunsthalle Zürich - Zürich, Switzerland 

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



2022   Noho House Gallery - Aesthetics of Language, Barcelona, Spain
2017   Art+ Shanghai Gallery, Singapore Art Space - A Seal of Unity, A Double Happiness, Singapore

2015   Fabrik Gallery - Rings on Fire, Hong Kong, China  
           Shanghai Grand Theatre, Opera House - Fragile, Shanghai, China    
2014   Alexia Werrie Gallery, 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



2024   Museo Valenciano de la Ilustración y la Modernidad (MuVIM) - Fashion Art, Valencia, Spain
2023   Rarity Gallery - Rarity Summer Contemporary, Mykonos, Greece
2022   National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), Beijing Biennale - Beijing, China
2021   Intersect Art and Design - Intersect 21, New York, USA

2020   Kunsthalle Zürich - M.Y.O. Exhibition, Zürich, Switzerland
           Rarity Gallery - Rarity Summer Contemporary, Mykonos, Greece
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

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 Fair, 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
           Ancienne Quincaillerie Vander Eycken - Group Show, Brussels, Belgium 
           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       
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




2018   Longlisted, Aesthetica Art Prize, York Art Gallery, UK
2017   Winner Special Prize Open, Arte Laguna Prize (MOCA Italia), Venice Arsenale, Italy 
2015   Shortlisted, Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize, Hong Kong, China
           Winner Excellence Award, Nanjing International Art Fair, Nanjing, China 
2013   Winner Major International Public Art Project, Palo Alto Public Art Commission, California, USA



2022   9th Beijing Biennale, National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), Beijing, China
2017   Open20, Hotel Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice, Italy 
2016   Fashion Art EU, European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM), Barcelona, Spain
           Art Expo Malaysia, MECC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2014   Fashion Art EU Exhibition, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium 



2020   Utopia 126 Artist Residency, Barcelona, Spain
2015   Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency, Shanghai, China


2022   Catalan News, Art Exhibition puts spotlight on China's ethnic groups, Gerard Escaich Folch, Sept 22, Barcelona (pdf)
           Frikifish Art Magazine, Aesthetics of Language, Amelia Johannsen, Sept 24, Barcelona (pdf)
2019   Collecteurs, Interview with Phil Akashi, Jessica Oralkan, August 15, New York, USA (pdf)
           Artdaily, Mystical Es Vedrà: a journey into languages, civilizations and cultures, Jose Villarreal, May 20, Mexico (pdf)
           I Support Street Art (ISSA), Interview Phil Akashi, The Alchemist of Language, Philipp Gor, May 26, Athens (pdf)
2017   Artsy, A Seal of Unity: a Double Happiness, Sue Wang, January 9, Beijing, China (pdf
           Cafa Art Info, Phil Akashi Solo Exhibition, Sue Wang, January 9, Beijing, China (pdf)
2016   The Malay Mail, A decade of artistic excellence, Melanie Chalil, October 22, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (pdf)
2015   European Parliament, Interview with artist Phil Akashi, Brussels, Belgium (video)
           UrbanDNA, Surprise - it’s illicit! Belgian artist Phil Akashi interview, Erin Wooters Yip, May 22, Hong Kong, China (pdf)
           South Island Cultural District, South Island Art Guide, Phil Akashi interview, Hong Kong, China (pdf)
           StyleByAsia, Peace for Art, Interview with Belgian artist Phil Akashi, Sandra Smedhall, October 22, Hong Kong, China (pdf)
           Bazar Magazine, Dans l'atelier de Phil Akashi, Alexia Werrie, November 10, Brussels, Belgium (pdf)
2014   Fine Art International, Chocolate Beauty Exhibition, January, Berlin, Germany (pdf)
           My Artreview, The Notion of the Chinese Dream by Phil Akashi, Sabrina Bourbeillon, February 26, Paris, France (pdf)
2013   Blouin Artinfo, Must-See New Public Art Across the Globe, October 14, Seoul, Korea (pdf)
           Guggenheim, Friday links: a Mural for Mandela in Shanghai, Lauren Altman, July 19, New York, USA (pdf)
           Artdaily, Phil Akashi's portrait of South African Peace icon, August 3, Mexico (pdf)
           Momatalks, Tribute to Mandela, Sarah Kennedy, July 19, New York, USA (pdf)
           Artribune, L’artista Phil Akashi ritrae Mandela a suon di pugni, Massimo Mattioli, December 5, Italy (pdf)
           Rolingstone, Artista cria retrato de Nelson Mandela dando socos na parede, September 30, Brazil (pdf)
          Juxtapoz, Watch: Phil Akashi paints Mandela portrait with 27,000 punches, July 12, San Francisco, USA (pdf)
           Le Figaro, Un portrait de Nelson Mandela au poing, Morgane Giuliani, December 6, Paris, France (pdf)



2022   9th Beijing Biennale, The Light of Life, Exhibition Catalogue, National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), Beijing, China
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


2022  Lecture, Aesthetics of Language, NoHo House Gallery, Barcelona, Spain
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 



Royal Family of South Africa
Royal Family of Malaysia
Bank Degroof Petercam Collection - Belgium
Nelson Mandela Foundation - South Africa
Utopia 126 Collection - Spain 
Morabito Collection - Indonesia
Sofina Collection - Singapore
Fashion Art Institute Collection - Spain
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel Collection - China



Phil Akashi logo


Fascinated by the cultural complexity and aesthetics of Asia, Phil Akashi carved out a unique artistic identity. He first kept his first name Phil as his authentic roots. He then chose the pseudonym Akashi meaning “bright stone” to express his strong passion for the multifaceted Japanese culture. And finally, he enriched his identity with a Chinese name "涛程" meaning "big wave journey" to integrate his nomadic approch to life and he intentionally reversed the two characters to experiment with the Chinese language.

Along with his unique Chinese name, strong Japanese pseudonym and authentic 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




"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).




"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 visited the studio of Ado Chale at 12 years of age. Meeting Chale and his passion for minerals, materials and textures would determine the direction of his future work. Since then, he has experimented through his unique lens of expression. www.adochale.com

Phil Akashi and Ado Chale