Hypebeans continues to expand its artistic influence around the world with another creative partnership. This time, Hypebeans connects its community with world-renowned Spanish contemporary artist Okokume in his first coffee shop in Hong Kong.
Okokume, also known as Laura Mas Hernandez, is known for her Lowbrow-inspired painting style, heavily influenced by caricatures from Japanese manga and American cartoons and street culture. Hypebeans Hong Kong will be presented in a display case with an exclusive Okokume painting entitled ” Will have, painted exclusively for the cafe. The artwork features Okokume’s iconic “Cosmic Girl” character, depicted with neon pink hair and a glowing aura around her. The illuminated background shows a mix of emotions through the vivid colors and floral details that illustrate harmony and delicacy. Okokume hopes audiences can experience a sense of understanding through the painting that will heal their deepest wounds.
Along with the installation, the artwork will be printed on a two-piece t-shirt capsule collection to commemorate the collaboration. The t-shirts come in classic black and white colors and focus on the portrait of the Cosmic Girl as the main graphic. Okokume expresses how excited she is to be working with Hypebeast: “Collaborating with Hypebeans is an exciting way to showcase my work to a wider audience and I wanted to express something different and fresh to mark a new beginning. The Okokume for Hypebeans collaboration was created with a more sensual concept that goes beyond the tangible, and I hope viewers of the art installation will resonate with the positive and energetic essence of this collaboration.”
Okokume delves further into partnering with Hypebeans, explaining the process behind their new work and inspirations in an exclusive chat with Hypebeast.
Hypebeast: You are best known for the legendary Cosmic Girl and the work you present with Hypebeans centers around The Aura of Cosmic Girl. Can you tell us something about the presentation of the pieces and the artistic intent?
Okokume: I wanted to depict the aura of Cosmic Girl’s body to create a connection between the viewer and the work, to show a more intimate sensibility that envelops the viewer with a positive and energetic essence.
A scene where Cosmic Girl dives into the sea of her own aura, allowing us to navigate between vivid and changing colors, bringing us closer in a more intimate space.
Her art is often lively and draws heavily on traditional Japanese manga art. What inspires you most about Japanese manga?
Ever since I was very young, I have been surrounded by references to manga and Japanese anime. Unlike other drawings I could see, these were more striking to me because of the intensity of the expressions, movements and totally surreal worlds that made every child’s imagination fly.
Can you explain how you incorporated elements of American cartoons and street culture into your work?
The underground and lowbrow movement made me feel the need to adopt any form of expression to bring my work to the public.
From there I stuck my drawings on the walls of the cities I visited and often joined street art collectives, some of which are still active today.
How did the collaboration with Hypebeast come about? How does your work for Hypebeans differ from your other pieces?
To my surprise, Hypebeast showed interest in my work and contacted me to propose this collaboration. All of this when we were just beginning to emerge from the global pandemic. It seemed like a very interesting opportunity to show my work and I wanted to show something different and fresh to mark a new beginning.
Unlike other works, this one was created with a more sensual concept, leaving the vengeful messages for this project, focusing on transmitting sensations beyond the tangible.
Positivity is an important theme in your work. At a time when the world is coming back from a global pandemic, how did you find inspiration at a time like this?
Nothing has really changed as I worked long hours at home before the quarantine. I was used to it, but over time and as the whole situation worsened, it was hard not to have an internal struggle of mixed feelings that left me stuck in front of the screen for many days.
At a time when we were constrained by total freedom, it was hard to find inspiration, but at the same time I found the way. My work has helped me get through this time and let off steam by showing all the feelings that have come up.
You are one of the fastest growing contemporary artists in the world. What projects can fans look forward to in the near future?
The last year was the one where I had the most work. Without a doubt there are many projects in the works that I am impatient to show – so I can only say that I have done my best in each of them and I hope that some of the editions that will appear will reach many of your homes.
The Okokume for Hypebeans installation is now open to the public until January 3, 2023 at Hypebeans Hong Kong. The collection is available from Hypebeans Hong Kong. Those in Hong Kong can also look out for an enhanced Okokume for Hypebeans food truck experience at Tong Chong Street Market in December.
Hypebeans Hong Kong
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