Artist KAWS takes to space to mark 20th anniversary of his Companion metallic sculpture

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SINGAPORE - American artist and designer Brian Donnelly, also known as KAWS, celebrated the 20th anniversary of his character called Companion on Monday with an out-of-this-world destination: 41 km into the stratosphere.

The 46-year-old artist who works with long-time collaborator, the Hong Kong-based art studio AllRightsReserved (ARR) to stage his works, has exhibited Companion in Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan and now, the fifth stop in space.

The signature look of Companion, which is inspired by Disney's Mickey Mouse, features large gloved hands and feet, big shoes and two Xs for eyes.

His latest release, titled KAWS: HOLIDAY SPACE, was videotaped in July but only launched yesterday. The team from ARR used a sounding balloon to jettison the sculpture into the rarefied realms before gently coaxing it back down to earth.

"So many projects have been cancelled this year," says KAWS, whose works have been collected by actors such as Henry Golding, the Malaysian-British star of Crazy Rich Asians and musicians such as American singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams. "I wanted to create one that could be experienced safely from home. I felt so confined the past few months that creating a project like this has really given me a chance to escape."

Read the full story on KAWS: HOLIDAY SPACE in The Straits Times Life section on Saturday.

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