An exhibition of art works by artist, Takashi Hara.

ARTAK5 explores the iconography of basketball street culture and draws from it the inspiration for his series of ceramic sculptures and digital prints. His sculptural works take on both representational and metamorphic forms using color and humor as entry points.

As an essential part of the urban uniform, Tak suggests that shoes can reveal a person’s sense of identity. The artist’s fascination with sports apparel, “sneakers” in particular, has been harvested through an interest in the signs and symbols of urban sports culture. “Sneaker collections” became popular in the 1980’s and can be attributed to three major sources – the popularity of basketball as a sport and the emergence of Michael Jordan and his eponymous “Air Jordan” line of basketball sport shoes; graffiti as an art form in street culture; and the growth of hip hop music. Sneakers are now often treated as precious objects, collector’s items, and staple elements of our urban landscape.

ARTAK5 explores this phenomenon as an opportunity to re-represent the fabric of our environment, both literally and metaphorically through the vividly bright creatures of uniform and personality.

“There is an excitement in exhibiting this body of work in Toronto where urban culture is highly relevant and progressive. I think people will see pieces of themselves in these pieces.” Takashi Hara