Toys is the second solo exhibition at Martin Asbæk Gallery by the Thai-born artist Kanteera Pethrith (b. 1978), better known as June. This time June’s familiar one-eyed GOGGLE character with optimistic jug-ears takes us into a playful, colourful universe where weapons, fighter planes and atom bombs are transformed into nothing more than toys.
As an odd, anonymous observer – often of political events – GOGGLE has accompanied June since her graduation from the Royal Danish Academy of Art in 2007. The works link her keen interest in complex global issues with a playful, fairytale-inspired universe.
In the exhibition Toys the works have a both provocative and ironic effect, since
GOGGLE plays hide-and-seek behind the mushroom clouds of the atom bombs while his new playmate flies around with a contented smile among jet fighters taking off. The aim is to ask questions like: Are weapons there to protect our own people or just toys for some other people? And at the same time to confront the viewer with global issues in an indirect and playful way.
The exhibition presents mixed media, prints on canvas combined with acrylic painting and huge stickers that are placed directly on the wall. The idiom of the works mixes devices from Pop Art with the Japanese Manga art with which the artist grew up. From the manga-inspired exhibition in the front room the viewer can step on into the animated counterpart of manga, anime, and experience the artist and animator Sara Koppel’s solo exhibition Moving Women.