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Asahi Silver + Black

Japanese brewer brings cutting edge design, art, fashion and photography
to Sydney and Melbourne. Nicky Lobo gets shirty with Asahi Silver + Black.

I missed the actual opening, along with the connection between beer and the creative arts – but apparently Asahi has a history of cutting-edge design.

So when I got down to Ambush Gallery in Waterloo a day late, I was suitably impressed by the funky exhibition and retail initiative, ‘Silver+Black’, inspired by the label design of the Asahi Super Dry brew.

Exploring the ancient notion of wabi-sabi, the exhibition, designed by Melbourne’s Moth Design and curated by Urchin, brings together works that represent the beauty of imperfection, simplicity and the potential of the ordinary.

These pieces were accompanied by various Asahi artefacts, including a super-cool display of the evolution from can to bottle, collected throughout their 121-year history.

From intricate pieces of jewellery by Julia DeVille (featured in Habitus 07), to video art by skater brand DC, the interesting thing about the collection was the diversity of artists. The concept of wabi-sabi, although very traditional, resonates with so many contemporary creatives, inspiring a wonderful texture and depth to the displayed works, as well as the visiting crowd.

Complementing the exhibition, the brand was brought to life through ‘Hit + Run’, live screenprinting by Californian artists, T-World. First created in 2005, these events allow you to design your own t-shirt that is then created in front of your eyes – an excellent, engaging and wearable memento of the night and artists involved.

The line for the tee (and the bathroom) was long, but worth it. Now I can sip on the clean, crisp taste of Asahi beer, while wearing my one-of-a-kind t-shirt and being mesmerised by the intricate linework of a Studio Matador x Jason Ku print that I just had to take home.


Nicky Lobo is Deputy Editor of Habitus magazine.

Asahi Silver + Black