Misaki Kawai’s new product designs are irresistibly fun and kooky

Japanese artist Misaki Kawai has teamed up with Scandinavian store Tiger to create a fun homeware and accessory range, from iPhone cases to bags.

You know, Tiger? That kooky retail store that you try to resist going into, fail, try to resist spending money in, fail, and then leave 45 minutes later with overflowing bags of fun stuff you didn’t know you needed?

Well, that quirky lot have found their match in their collaboration with Japanese-born, New York-based artist Misaki Kawai, who is helping them with her characteristically playful touch to create home-ware and accessories – which, of course, include boob-inspired bags and banana-handled skipping ropes.

Misaki’s work is a joy to look at. And with her fondness for bright colours, cheap craft materials (“For me, low-quality materials have more character than perfect materials,” Misaki told Sight Unseen) and simple shapes, her creations stir a nostalgia for childhood. And her knack for absurdist humour gives us a tickle too. 

Tiger loved the childlike feeling in her work, but they think her creations are also “much more than that,” they said in press release. “They exude humour, positive energy and a cornucopia of good vibrations." Tiger were inspired enough to invite Misaki to work for a year with Tiger’s design team – which resulted in over 20 new products, including everything from wooden toys to fun socks.

Misaki mostly uses paint to create her charming characters – but also uses paper maché, textiles, books, photos, video, sound, silver foil and clothing, to name just a few of the mediums on her creative palette, as well incredible 3D installations.

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Misaki’s work spans both American and Japanese culture and is already very visible in the US. Tiger is a great route to the UK for her – where the store has an impressive presence - and working with Tiger allows her to incorporate some Scandi style.

Tiger has a bit of a reputation for celebrating and promoting great art. Just last year, the store published Yoko Ono’s art book Conceptual Photography. The store will also collaborate with Turner prize-nominee David Shrigley later in 2016.

Misaki’s products will be in stores from the 2nd May, but are currently available to view online.