Creativity 50 2013: Ichwan Noor

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Volkswagen has gotten a lot of the press over the last few years for its notable ads featuring everything from a Jamaican Patois-speaking Midwesterner to "Star Wars Imperial March"-barking dogs, but Indonesian artist Ichwan Noor showed us a whole new side to the automaker's vehicles at this year's inaugural Art Basel Hong Kong. There, he debuted a breathtaking new form for the classic Beetle by sculpting it into a surreal, cartoon-like sphere, setting the underground art press abuzz with excitement.

Such sheet metal reformation is not a new thing for the Jakarta-born sculptor, who is known for his manipulative techniques and who, in a previous exhibition, squished another VW into a cube. "The idea emerged from a personal perception towards objects that are products of a 'transportation culture,' which induces hints/signs of spiritual emotion," said his artist statement. "To behold a vehicle is to have a 'magical' (supernatural) identity. By combining the techniques of manipulation and substitution, the form of this sculpture tends toward realistic distortion, which allows new interpretations about the car."

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