17 Feb – 18 Mar 2017, Kult Gallery, Singapore | Toys are a craft that celebrate workmanship, inspire play and create a mark in pop culture. For anything significant that’s happened, someone’s built a toy based on it. The history of toys is a history of us. For Choking Hazard: An Exhibition about Toys, Kult Gallery showcased the works of 33 artists and toy makers, along with a preview of its own artbook entitled TOYS, in an attempt to combine these histories to present a space where toy markets of the masses co-exist with the experiences of the underground art world.
The show featured a mix of local artists like ANTZ, Daniel Yu and Mojoko, as well as international artists like Quiccs (PH), Handsome Studio (KR), Healeymade (USA) and Kyle Kirwan (USA), who built/moulded artworks with and on top of existing store-bought (or found) toys and toy packaging.
In doing so, Choking Hazard: An Exhibition about Toys acknowledged that the world of toys has always been a hotbed of controversies regarding issues such as mass production, consumerism and even gender.
Kult had also reached out to notable names in the toy scene who have created artworks that support the running commentary of the show, such as Sket One (USA), Ben Rider (UK) and Jason Freeny (USA).
Visitors were also given the opportunity to make their own art when they dropped by the gallery with Toys Disassembly. An assembly line of pre-loved toys was available for them to take apart and re-build their own Frankenstein-ian art piece that they could take home, along with glue and paint for further customisation.
Chug and FORM Curated Series kept everyone hydrated with drinks on the opening night, as visitors jammed out to Kult Kafe’s Toy Orchestra, an orchestra essentially producing sounds from re-wired toy instruments hooked up to speakers.
The exhibition was a celebration of play, and offered creative space to explore throughout its month-long run via a wearable toy workshop, a sound interactive installation by MOJOKO and even a Beer and Pizza podcast session with Marsham Toy Hour (USA) and local toymakers and designers Jackson Aw, Daniel Yu and Fragiledarkness.
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