The KAWS:HOLIDAY project has landed in Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong and Mount Fuji in Japan since 2018. The giant inflatable Companion figure has attracted thousands of visitors and its merchandise sold out within minutes of their release, making them popular resale items in second-hand markets.
This time around, due to the pandemic, Companion has chosen to blast off into space to celebrate its 20th birthday. In addition to the journey beyond our atmosphere, KAWS:HOLIDAY space figures will also be sold on DDT with a price tag of HK$2,980 (around US$380) and will be available on 18 Aug at 10am HKT (17 Aug, 10pm EDT).
Before the launch
The balloon carrying Companion starting to rise
Companion on its way to space
Companion’s zero-gravity walk
After the balloon burst, Companion returned to Earth
Companion landing in the woods
In its gold spacesuit, Companion boarded the balloon which took him over 40 kilometres up into the Stratosphere. After reaching super-high speeds, Companion took a zero-gravity walk in space. The historical moment was recorded with a 360-degree panoramic video camera.
The balloon finally burst after Companion strolled for 2 hours in space. It safely returned to Earth and landed in the woods.
KAWS:Holiday collaborated with Hong Kong-based creative studio AllRightsReserved in organising Companion’s tour. While the previous four stops were in Asia and attracted a global audience, under the current circumstances, they have chosen to let Companion escape into space.
'So many projects have been cancelled this year. I wanted to create one that could be experienced safely from home. Because this year marks 20 years since I created Companion, I tried to find a way around all the restrictions and do something special. I felt so confined the past few months that creating a project like this has really given me a chance to escape,' said KAWS.
KAWS said that he felt confined in the past few months and the project gave him a chance to escape
In parallel with the journey to space, the Companion space figure will also be sold on DDT. The figure measures 11.5 inches in height (22.9cm) and comes in three reflective colourways of gold, silver and black with a price of HK$2,980 (around US$380). It will be available on 18 Aug at 10am HKT (17 Aug, 10pm EDT).
Although the figures are Open Editions, it is most likely that all of them will be wiped out within minutes of them being available.
To take a closer look at the figures, simply log onto Instagram and scroll through the popular pages. Celebrity friends of KAWS including singers Pharrell Williams, Pusha T, 11-year-old model Ella Gross, CLOT’s founders Edison Chen and Kevin Poon, Neighborhood’s director Shinsuke Takizawa, Singaporean singer JJ Lin, as well as Korean actors Jung Hae-in and Kim Young-kwang have already received the Companion space figure.
11-year-old model Ella Gross
Korean actor Kim Young-kwang