Special Projects
Who the Bær

Prada Aoyama

Who the Bær

Prada presents the exhibition 'Who the Bær' created by artist Simon Fujiwara, a new especially conceived version of the show presented for the first time at Fondazione Prada’s Milan venue in 2020.

The exhibition is open to the public from 15 October 2022 to 30 January 2023

PRADA AOYAMA

5-2-6 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

EXHIBITION HOURS
Monday to Sunday: 11am – 8pm


Please note we are currently taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus and kindly ask for your cooperation.
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Who the Bær is a cartoon character created by the artist Simon Fujiwara that takes inspiration from fairy tales, fantasy literature, animation and theme park worlds. “Who”, as they are known, seems to have not yet developed a strong personality or instincts. They have no fixed identity, no gender, and no sexuality. Who does not even seem to have a clear design but is a being in the making, a self-creation. Who only knows that they are an image, and they seek to define themselves traversing a “Whoniverse” of images. Who the Bær’s world is a flat, online domain of pictures, yet one full of endless possibilities.
Through the coming-of-age story of Who, Simon Fujiwara explores a plurality of topics belonging to different realms: from the climate collapse to cultural appropriation, plastic surgery to Pop-art. “Who the Bær” can be interpreted as a distorted mirror of our society obsessed with spectacle, self-representation and the search for a “true self”.

A series of new drawings, collages, sculptures, and animations introduces the Japanese audience to Who the Bær’s perennial quest for an authentic self. The exhibition set-up unfolds as a series of pastel-coloured carpeted areas exploring the many facets of Who and marking the stages of their chaotic journey. Through the all-consuming desires of a cartoon bear, we experience the external world as little more than a repertoire of stereotypical images and consumable backdrops for ever new adventures.

About Simon Fujiwara

The work of Simon Fujiwara (London, UK, 1982; lives and works in Berlin) is a personal exploration of the human desire that underpins tourist attractions, historical icons, celebrities, “edutainment,” and neo-capitalism. In this seductive yet fraught arena, his work reveals the paradox of our simultaneous quest for fantasy and authenticity in the culture we consume.

Fujiwara created Who the Bær during the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 as a “childlike, dada-esque response to the increasingly nonsense world of hyper-capitalist entertainment culture”. Since their creation, Who the Bær has been the subject of a first and major exhibition at Fondazione Prada in Milan, followed by a show at the Kunstinstituut Melly in Rotterdam, both in 2021. Who also starred in a global billboard campaign across several international cities like Milan, New York, London, and Tokyo.


Credits
Artist’s portrait and exhibition view of “Who
the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara.
Photo: Yasushi Ichikawa