Plastikman, also know as world-renowned electronic musician Richie Hawtin, has created a series of bespoke soundscapes to Pradasphere II in Shanghai, an intimate journey and public exhibition curated by Prada co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons and conceptualized with global design consultancy, 2×4 New York.
Building on the success of the first iteration in 2014 the exhibition features more than 400 artifacts — physical and digital drawn from the fashion archive as well as decades-long engagements across art, architecture, culture, and sport.
Sharing new perspectives on 110 years of history, the exhibition grants unparalleled, first-hand access into the brand’s past, present, and future in which Hawtin has provided a bespoke soundscape across multiple immersive spaces. At Pradasphere II, the soundscapes reveal themselves as guests move through the exhibition.
A cultural examination, Pradasphere II is the perfect multi-format collaboration to capture the symbiotic relationship and creative chemistry that Plastikman has developed with the iconic fashion house.
Plastikman, aka Richie Hawtin, states: “My relationship with Prada is a beautiful interplay for the senses. My task, as always in my collaborations with Prada, is to find the right frequencies to act as a supporting architecture for Mrs. Prada & Raf’s vision. This particular project was creatively challenging due to its scale and ambition and was still a work in progress as I left the studio and headed to Shanghai for the installation.
Only upon arrival could I truly appreciate the subtleties of the exhibitions intentions, which helped focus the final details of the music. Each piece is a unique hour-long generative audio soundscape, delicately balancing sight & sound, in order to create a perfect harmonic experience. Pradasphere II bought together a unique group of inspiring minds augmenting the core Prada team. Working along side everyone, including Michael Rock and his 2×4 team, was a dream and something that I will not soon forget.”
Richie‘s work with Prada began in 2021 during the pandemic, when the brand hired Plastikman to compose a series of runway soundtracks for Prada’s responsive, seasonal online fashion shows for both the men’s and womenswear collections.
A now frequent Prada collaborator, 2021 saw Hawtin host a new collaborative concept which he titled Prada Extends at Tate Modern‘s live art and performance space The Tanks which formed a pioneering programme; curated and composed through his ideas of sound and visuals.
Now a global event partnership and series, Prada Extends focuses on a diverse selection of local emerging talent (music and visual), celebrating the creative cultures of the selected city and has since travelled to Tokyo, Japan; Miami’s Art Basel in 2022; and Bangkok, Thailand in 2023.
An in-depth experience of astonishing variety, the exhibition depicts Prada through accumulation, close looking, and hospitality. Diverse elements reveal the themes and ideas core to Prada. Some explore deep craft and skilled making, others reveal the manifold aesthetic contradictions at the heart of the brand, while others explore Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons‘s ongoing quest to challenge traditional notions of luxury. Sharing new perspectives on 110 years of history, the exhibition grants unparalleled, firsthand access into the brand’s past, present, and future.
The Start Museum, which opened in December 2022 after an ambitious renovation by Jean Nouvel, is located in the historical building of the Nanpu Railway Station, a sea-to-land transport hub whose origins date back to 1907. Located on the west bank of the Huangpu River, the Start Museum is a vibrant addition to the Xuhui District. Pradasphere II marks the first exhibition of its kind at the museum.
Pradasphere II is free and open to the public from December 7, 2023, to January 21, 2024 at the Start Museum, 111 Ruining Road, Xuhui District.