Azure in NYC: Remembering Tobias Wong

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Brokenoff Brokenoff at Gallery R’Pure, ending today, honours Wong’s subversive art-design work.

The provocative designer and artist, a cerebral prankster who often repurposed luxury goods to give them new meaning, inspired many in the design community. His death in May 2010, at the age of 35, came as a shock. In tribute, nine notable designers created special pieces inspired by Wong’s life and work, which were presented in the exhibition Brokenoff Brokenoff at Gallery R’ Pure during ICFF.

Frederick McSwain, who remembered someone trading Wong a six-sided die for a cigarette, created a portrait on the floor of the gallery made from hundreds of dice. David Weeks, who recalled Wong’s tattoo of a Jenny Holzer phrase, made temporary tattoos with a quote from Wong. Marc Thorpe reproduced Wong’s plastic business card – which was a stencil with elements such as Chanel’s logo and the outline of a jet – in gold. Brad Ascalon created Reflection, a sort of stained glass window inspired by Wong’s Mirror Puzzle, a game that continually reflected its player. Taken together, there was no missing one central sentiment – Wong is dearly missed.

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