after clocking music and art, ta-ku is turning his attention to fashion

Australia’s most multi-skilled beatmaker has teamed up with G-Star to merge art, fashion and music in their new exhibition.

by Hannah Butterworth
29 March 2016, 1:15am

Image via Facebook

What have you done in the past four years? Probably quite a lot, but not as much as Australian beat maker Ta-ku. In roughly 1460 days his progressive sound, infused with soul and hip-hop, has taken him from making beats in his Perth bedroom to playing live sets at MoMA and teaming up with hip hop golden child Ty Dolla Sign.

In 2016 he's clearly not interested in taking a break. Between musical interludes he's carved out an impressive side career as a photographer (check out his mind-melting Instagram) and opened a barbershop in his home city, because why the hell not? Now he's turning his expansive attention to fashion.

Alongside Australian artist Anthony Lister and G-Star he's taking part in RAW Collaborations—an exhibition celebrating Australian Denim Culture. For the show he's created a series of images that will be displayed in the China Heights hosted show. We caught up with arguably Australian music's biggest art fanboy to chat about creativity and merging mediums.

Can we start by talking about you playing your first show at MoMA?
Yeah, that was a lot of fun. MoMA was the first time we debuted this new live show. It was wild because it was a special kind of installation, and we had all the visuals running along inside the walls—it was really good.

It makes sense, your work is really conceptual so it feels closer to an art installation than a traditional live performance. How do you see your work fitting within the art space?
In the last couple of years I've really tried to expand myself more creatively and I feel like performing in an art space is where we can really cross mediums and cater for all kinds of people and different kinds of audiences. It's really kinda liberating for me, I love it.

You've collaborated with visual artists in the past, how important is the visual to you and your work?
I think it's imperative, just because it complements my work so much and it's something that I'm quite passionate about. It's important for me to have those two connected. I've always been a fan of design —I wanted to be a graphic designer at one point of my life, but I failed (laughs).

Getting to the exhibition with G-Star at China Heights, the theme was "Humans in Motion". Is this something that resonates with your journey between recording the albums Songs to Break Up To and Songs to Make Up To?
Yeah when I saw that in the brief it was kinda funny because they're the things (humans) I definitely love shooting—it ties in really well with what I already love to capture. I'm fascinated with people, human relationships and human interactions.

Your work is really diverse and crosses music, photography, and now with this exhibition, explores fashion. I'm interested in how you see the realms of fashion and music intersecting over the next few years?
I think it's becoming more and more relevant, people are definitely getting more and more into seeing those two worlds collide. I mean Kanye West—love him or hate him—he's definitely one of those people bridging the gap.

I think all creative fields should be looked at equally, but for some reason some are seen as more prestigious or finer than others. But everyone that's trying to create something, we're all on even ground and the merging of different mediums is important because it solidifies or helps people realise that we're all just trying to create stuff together.

G-Star's RAW Collaborations Exhibition will be open from 7pm on Thursday the 31st of March at China Heights Gallery, Surry Hills.


Text Hannah Butterworth
Image via Facebook

Anthony Lister
China Heights