Phil Akashi

Phil Akashi ( b.1978 in Brussels ) carved out a unique visual language using the aesthetics of Asian philosophies  with a cross-cultural and conceptual approach. His art 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. 

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.


He activates the Chinese character of Double Happiness (囍) as the symbol and metaphor of conjugal bliss to succinctly question the double meanings inherent in the realities associated with matrimony. 

 

Phil Akashi invented a cross-cultural language, melting the Eastern and Western cultures, elaborating an aesthetic vocabulary mixing the past and the present, in order to express his optimistic contemporary vision of an ancestral institution. 


Combining tradition and challenge by adding golden leaves and thin layers of acrylic using a bamboo stick, the artist closes and opens at the same time this trilogy in a spiritual way: in the Wisdom of Happiness. Through the repetitive gestures found in his artistic creations, Phil Akashi strives to rephrase the Asian literati tradition of text and image. 

Also known as an Alchemist of language, Phil Akashi carved out a unique visual language often combining the use of traditional crafts with techniques of the abstract expressionism and street art movements. Akashi’s influences range from pioneering Asian artists such as Xu Bing, Park Seo-Bo, to Western artists such as Christopher Wool, Cy Twombly, and also from the myriad of cultural inspirations of his nomadic lifestyle.


Phil Akashi has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Asia, Europe, and the United States. He recently exhibited at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA) alongside Ai Weiwei and Jenny Holzer, at the Museum of Modern Art of Algiers (MaMA), at the Arsenale in Venice, and at the Power Station of Art (PSA) in Shanghai. 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.  

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.


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. 

 

Phil Akashi’s exhibition at the Rarity Gallery works around harmony and breaks, to find a kind of wisdom, which would unite epochs pictorially and symbolically. 

 

Awards
2018   Aesthetica Art Prize, York Art Gallery, York, UK, Longlisted
2017   Arte Laguna Prize (MOCA Italia), Venice Arsenale, Italy, Winner Special Prize Open
           Open20, Hotel Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice, Italy, Selected artist to represent Belgium        
2016   Fashion Art EU, European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM), Barcelona, Spain, Selected artist to represent Belgium
           Art Expo Malaysia, MECC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Selected artist to represent Belgium
2015   Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize, Hong Kong, China, Shortlisted
           Nanjing International Art Festival, Nanjing, China, Excellence Award Winner
           Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency, Shanghai, China
2014   Fashion Art EU Exhibition, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, Selected artist to represent Belgium
2013   Palo Alto Public Art Commission, California, USA, Major International Public Art Project 
           Blouin Artinfo, Seoul, Korea, Must-See New Public Art Across the Globe

Group Shows at Major Institutions
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

Selected Reviews by Major Art Publications
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) - New York, USA
China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Cafa Art Info - Beijing, China
Guggenheim, Friday links - New York, USA
Blouin Artinfo - Seoul, Korea

"Wisdom of Happiness”

Ink, gold leaves and acrylic canvas with Chinese characters

205w x 160h cm

"Wisdom of Happiness”

Ink, gold leaves and acrylic canvas with Chinese characters

205w x 160h cm

"Legend of the Dragon"

Mixed media acrylic and Chinese ink on  linen
Untitled # 18
140 x 195 cm

"Legend of the Dragon"

Mixed media acrylic and Chinese ink on  jute
Untitled # 37
145 x 200 cm

"Legend of the Dragon"

Mixed media acrylic and Chinese ink on  jute
Untitled # 31
145 x 200 cm

"Legend of the Dragon”

Mixed media acrylic and Chinese ink on  canvas
Untitled # 5
150 x 200 cm