ABOUT PHIL AKASHI

Biography
CV
Pseudonym
Craftsmanship



BIOGRAPHY

Born in 1978 in Brussels, Phil Akashi is a multi-award winning artist based in Brussels, Hong Kong and La Garde-Freinet (France). 

Phil Akashi carved out a unique visual language using the aesthetics of Asian languages with a cross-cultural and conceptual approach. His arts practice involves experimenting with a wide range of materials and media often combining traditional crafts and systematic repetitions to fusion East and West and place the past in the service of the present. The artist often uses metaphors in his narrative, figurative or abstract works to re-evaluate, challenge and engage perceptions of contemporary issues.

As a vibrant player in the East/West dialogue, he is dedicated to breaking down boundaries between street art and fine art painting, between power and resistance, between tradition and modernity.  

Phil Akashi has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Asia, Europe, and the United States. He recently exhibited at the Arsenale in Venice, the Power Station of Art (PSA) and the Opera House in Shanghai, and the Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels. 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 mural 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

1978          Born in Brussels, Belgium
2002          B.B.A. in Commercial and Financial Sciences, ICHEC, 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   

                  Currently living and working in Brussels, Hong Kong and La Garde-Freinet (France)

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS & PROJECTS

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

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
2017   Hotel Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice Lido, Hotel Excelsior - 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, Nanjing, 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 Exhibition, 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, York, UK
2017   Selected artist to represent Belgium, OPEN20, Hotel Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice, Italy
           Winner Special Prize Open, Arte Laguna Prize (MOCA Italia), Venice Arsenale, 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, China
           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 2013, Palo Alto Public Art Commission, California, USA

           Must-See New Public Art Across the Globe, Blouin Artinfo, Seoul, Korea


SELECTED REVIEWS AND EDITORIAL PUBLICATIONS
 

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! 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   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 & WORKSHOP

2017   Lecture, A Belgian nomadic artist, Singapore Art Space, Art+ Shanghai Gallery, Singapore 
2015   Lecture for the Korean Art Management Institute (KAMI) during Art Basel 
Hong Kong,
           South Island Cultural District, 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 

 

 

 


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.




CRAFTSMANSHIP

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