KAWS <br/>
<em>SEEING</em> 2018 <br/>
bronze, paint <br/>
191.8 x 74.9 x 101.0 cm <br/>
Photo: Jonty Wilde<br/>
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Media Release • 14 Nov 19

KAWS: PLAYTIME: Free interactive children’s exhibition

20 September 2019 – 13 April 2020 | NGV International | Free entry

KAWS: PLAYTIME is a free and immersive exhibition for children featuring American artist KAWS’s signature character BFF and artwork referencing his popular toy-like figures.

Presented in conjunction with major exhibition KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness, this exhibition encourages creativity and exploration through hands-on activities and interactive experiences, opening 20 September 2019 at the National Gallery of Victoria.

In his work, the artist KAWS explores themes of friendship and companionship through his larger-than-life sculptures and collectable toys.

KAWS: PLAYTIME is a sensory experience which explores these themes, and takes cues from the artist’s iconic BFF character, with its yellow button nose and fluffy coat, inspired by popular cartoon characters. The exhibition walls will be lined with BFF’s royal blue fur, and the space will feature custom designed furniture referencing BFF motifs and pink wallpaper featuring KAWS’s COMPANION character.

Children can let their imagination wander with their own creative kit containing a pop-up surprise and a set of alphabet stickers designed by KAWS and create a pal for BFF at the interactive multimedia hub.

Throughout the space children can enjoy cosy and colourful nooks to explore friendship with BFF and pose in an NGV exclusive KAWS photo booth with a filter of BFF’s criss-cross eyes, yellow nose and gloves. Shareable digital content enables visitors to share friendship with BFF and their families after leaving the exhibition.

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV said ‘KAWS: PLAYTIME is an engaging and vibrant exhibition designed by KAWS specifically for children and families in celebration of the arts and self-expression. The NGV is dedicated to providing year-round programming tailored to children and families.’

Artist KAWS said ‘Making time for play is incredibly important to childhood development and that is exactly what PLAYTIME offers. This is a tactile exhibition that encourages children to express themselves through creations they can make in response to the exhibition.’

Along with the KAWS: PLAYTIME exhibition will be KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness, a comprehensive survey of 25 years of the artist’s oeuvre, full of humour, hope and humanity, celebrating his ability to connect with broad audiences. On display will be more than 100 works including iconic paintings reappropriating pop-culture figures, large-scale abstract works, an impressive collection of his celebrated sculptural figures and a newly commissioned 7-metre bronze COMPANION sculpture GONE, 2019.

KAWS: PLAYTIME will be on display from 20 September 2019 – 13 April 2020 at NGV International. This exhibition is free and additional information is available via the NGV website NGV NGV.MELBOURNE.

KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness will be on display from 20 September 2019 – 13 April 2020 at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia. Tickets and information are available from the NGV website NGV.MELBOURNE. Adult $20 | Concession $17 | Child (5-15 years) $10 | Family (2 adults + 3 children) $45

KAWS: PLAYTIME is generously supported by The Truby and Florence Williams Charitable Trust, managed by Equity Trustees; The Fox Family Foundation; The Packer Family and Crown Resorts Foundations; The Neilson Foundation and Official Supplier, Canson Australia.

KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS is supported by Major Partners UNIQLO and Chadstone – The Fashion Capital; Supporter Asahi Holdings and Media Partner smoothfm

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