Groovisions, an acclaimed multi-disciplinary design team established around
1993, is famous for its Chappie character. Originally the team, headed by
Hiroshi Ito, organised and VJ’d at club events for which they produced
flyers as a way of showcasing their work. Now their activities include
packaging, fashion, film, web design and art direction. Chappie, the uni-sex
virtual idol, is also a household name in Japan. Ageless and genderless,
Chappie has appeared in fashion and art magazines and advertised products.
S/he debuted as a virtual idol singer in 1994 and released a CD in 1999.
Originally created as a computer game character that allowed you to change
its clothes, hair and colouring, while the features remained the same,
Chappie first became three-dimensional in 1998. S/he follows all the latest
trends and has various manifestations, i.e., as hi-fi speakers, as an
inter-active version you can draw on, as a pachinko machine, a popular
gambling device in Japan. Whereas you could buy Chappie in shops, soon s/he
will only be available at Groovision exhibitions. Recently spotted at
Colette in Paris, and as part of Murakami’s exhibition, Superflat, in the
USA, Chappie makes its UK debut at JAM.