November sees the launch in Japan of the Swatch Art Special Rorrim 5, designed by Japanese artist Tadanori Yokoo. Rorrim is "mirror" written backwards.
In September, thanks to Tokyo’s (Japan) POP Swatch Clock Tower, the passage of time is all the more remarkable.
The Bergstrüssli Swatch special introduces the world to inimitable Swiss styling, from the Swiss canton of Appenzell.
Jean-Michel Folon is a Belgian artist widely known for his posters and magazine illustrations but also for his work with a broad range of materials and mediums. As a painter he won the Grand Prize at the São Paulo Biennale in 1973, and he is known as well for his engravings, silk-screens, mosaics, stained glass and sculptures in wood, clay, plaster, bronze and marble. The graphic appeal of his work has brought wide exposure in private galleries and museums around the world. In 2005 the city of Florence staged a retrospective exhibition at the Palazzo Vecchio and Forte Belvedere.
Jean-Michel Folon’s three watches for Swatch, Le Temps (GZ108), Voir (GZ109) and Perspective (GZ106) possess the graphic, bold simplicity of his popular designs. Their blue plastic straps lead the eye to the dials, printed with scenes that walk a fine line between abstract and figurative forms, shaded with colouredpencil blues, greens, yellows and occasional reds. Absent all numerals, the dials feature slender hour and minute hands in strong red, yellow and blue. Masterfully balanced in terms of formal composition, these three works are an open invitation to explore the artist’s illustrated, animated and creative perspective on contemporary urban life.
Tadanori Yokoo is a Japanese graphic designer, illustrator, printmaker and painter known for his enormous versatility. A prolific and unpredictable artist, he has produced animation, book designs, prints, posters, album covers, illustration and paintings. He is also known for referencing the visual over-saturation of cities such as Tokyo, which are inundated with images and information. His multi-faceted and surreal designs can be described as portraits of the visually disorganized, complicated present. In his later work he often mixes elements from different media.
Tadanori Yokoo’s energetic, sizzling design for Swatch is at once calligraphic and contemporary. Rorrim 5 (GZ107) (mirror written backwards) references both traditional Japanese media (the special packaging includes a bamboo ink brush) and the characteristic condensation of urban, ad-like images that Yokoo reworks in his art. The bold, impulsive colours – red, black, goldenrod yellow, blue – are featured on the intensely kinetic, action-packed dial as well. In this powerful, elegant and refl ective work, the artist has achieved a masterful balance of noise and silence, one the mirror image and complement of the other.