PHIL AKASHI (BELGIUM - بلجيكا)
Phil Akashi (Brussels, 1978) is a nomadic artist known for his conceptual and cross-cultural experiments with language, materiality and aesthetics. Akashi’s works explore, challenge and engage questions relating to the notions of democracy, power, resistance, culture and civilization. As a vibrant player in the East/West dialogue, his narratives are critics, sometimes anti-establishment, confrontational, and, at the same time, peaceful and meditative. Self-proclaimed the 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. Inspired by the work of Xu Bing, Idris Khan and Christopher Wool, he is dedicated to expanding the materiality and aesthetics of words and texts.
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, Jenny Holzer, 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.
Phil Akashi's work investigates questions relating to the act of transgression as a powerful tool that allows the liberation of the creative energies.
The artist incorporates multiple layers of languages* from East and West and uses light as a manifestation of spiritual energy. The compositions of Arabic, Chinese and English characters and hues of the artwork are revealed in the presence of ultraviolet light.
By doing so, he engages his audience with a reflection on unlimited tolerance, open-mindedness and positive reasoning. Between visible and invisible, between light and shadow, a new, expanded idea of calligraphy takes shape.
*According to Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, Persian poet and Sufi master, when one recognizes the signs of creation by observing and thinking about it, one sees creation as an expression of divine power, thus reaches the love of God. The further we move away from the true centre of the religious faith, the more differences and controversies emerge. "We are not going East and West, but rather we are constantly traveling to the Sun" Rumi says. Confucius said: 不患人之不己知，患不知人也 / “I will not be afflicted at men’s not knowing me; I will be afflicted that I do not know men”. According to the Master, by getting to know others around us we will be able to improve ourselves. Without others, we are unable to learn about our own self.