KAWS' various Ups and Downs editions, as shown on his official website. What makes this print so unique in the artist's portfolio? And why has it been a popular seller among collectors during the past decade? Let's find out about KAWS' 'Ups and Downs', which is currently exhibited at Seoul Museum of Art.
With this new exhibition, KAWS is showing his 'Ups and Downs' series that has been created since 2003--the year he relocated to New York City. This is the first time the artist has exhibited his most recent works in Korea. This 13-piece collection mainly consists of small, wearable vinyl toys based on playful phrases such as 'I love you' and 'Chocolate'.
Among those exhibited, the most well-known piece is perhaps the small toy of a honey bear that says, "Ups and Downs" in Roman letters. This bear has been one of the artist's favorite figures to date. The design of this vinyl collectible was based on a teddy bear that KAWS saw on his travels in New York City. Using this teddy bear as a template, he used the vinyl toy method to make a mini honey bear that says "Ups and Downs".
It is the first time for KAWS' 'Ups and Downs' series to be exhibited in Korea--a country he has been interested in since the late 1990s. He started to visit the country from 2000, and he received his BFA degree in sculpture from Hongik University (Seoul) in 2002. In fact, KAWS' 'Ups and Downs' series was greatly influenced by Korea's culture as the figures mainly consist of teddy bears and the short-hand word 'Ups and Downs' reminds us of what Koreans call 엉뚱 (eng-tuks, meaning unique).
In addition to his original artwork, KAWS is also exhibiting some of his tailored jackets that feature the figures. These functional garments are all based on sweatshirts he designed in 2002.
To know more about this artwork, visit Shophomeless.com.