This Is Not A Toy @ Design Exchange

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Not long ago I had the chance to stop by Design Exchange and check out their latest exhibition “This Is Not A Toy”, curated  by John Wee Tom, DX Associate Curator Sara Nickleson and Guest Curator Pharrell Williams. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, seeing as the works exhibited were in majority, ultra design toys. I was a little confused on how they were going to be displayed and interpreted as works of art and was pleasantly surprised!

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Based loosely around the concept presented in Rene Magrittes “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”, the show explores the idea of a toy not only as a functional and aesthetic object but as an art or design object that is representative of it’s own culture.

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We see familiar faces from the music industry such as The Beatles, Daft Punk and The Gorillaz as well as well-known pop culture and politics personalities ranging from Mao Zedong to Mickey Mouse rendered in bright, plastic sculptures and plushy collector toys.

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What I found interesting was the way in which these designer toys were re-contextualized in a meticulously curated space: sparking enthusiasm in viewers at the recognition of popular characters and slight shock in realizing a slightly sexual, gory or bizarre representation.

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Overall, “This is Not a Toy” was a pleasure to attend, and I definitely recommend checking it out! The exhibition will be up until May 19th and you can buy tickets at Design Exchange for approximately $16 if you’re a student. It definitely makes you reminiscence those childhood years of cartoons and Pokemon cards.

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