Like Swatch itself, Mika turned 30 this year. Born in Beirut and raised in Paris and London, he shares with Swatch a commitment to creative diversity that appeals to audiences all over the world. The new Swatch Art Specials were designed by Mika and his sister Yasmine, who have been creating artworks and designing together for the past ten years. Working from their London studio, the Swatch project has been their design priority for the last 12 months.
Mika?s two timepieces feature a simple, bold pattern on the strap, with an image suggesting a traditional African tribal mask on each dial. ?The patterns are a mix of designs that can be found in Tunisian, Moroccan, other African and Oceanic tribal motifs,? said Mika. ?The tribal mask heads are a mix of sources; it?s difficult to pinpoint what they might be. But it doesn?t really matter, because they have the same function ? they?re there to inspire curiosity and awe. That was one of the main parts of our idea. We wanted the object to feel a little bit mystical.?
Mika developed two different designs, both of which express his idea of the watch as a totemic object. Mika ‘s creative approach always begins with a story. For this project he imagined a totem pole/watch appearing on an unknown planet. The inhabitants are at first puzzled, then terrified of the alien object, which they come to worship. When it fails to give them what they want, they chop it down, and all that remains of the totem pole is the watch itself.
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