At the base of the flagpole within the south end of Disneyland’s Main Street, there is a dedication plaque that reads: “To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past… and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America… with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” Dated July 17th, 1955, these words were spoken by the then-53-year-old Walt Disney during the opening ceremony for his theme park passion project. And this plaque is about a thirty-minute walk away from the Anaheim Convention Center, the location of 2019’s DesignerCon, where a new sculptural set inspired by those words was publicly displayed, these VTSS sub-brand VINS produced pieces being the aptly-titled Ideals, Dreams, and Hard Facts by “Blank William” Kang.

Blank William’s Ideals, Dreams, and Hard Facts

With “these pieces, I wanted to create something that represents what Disney is to the world,” Blank William states, the artist noting how there “are very few things that embody the American dream like Walt Disney and his creations.” Thoughtfully selecting a trio of denizens from ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ for his sculpture, each symbolizes a part of the belief that “Ideals, Dreams, and Hard Facts are the ingredients of innovation,” specifically how: “Mickey [Mouse] embodies our quest for perfection, Goofy reaches beyond what we think is possible [even] at the risk of being seen as a fool, [and] Donald [Duck] keeps us grounded and helps us accept the realities of things.” Morphing their likenesses into forms reminiscent of balloons, Blank William made this choice as “a simple way to show magic,” he admits. “A child looking at a balloon sees an object doing something that no other object does: it floats without effort,” the artist explains, adding how it “made sense to me to connect this magic to what Disney is to the world.”

Accentuating an inflatable object’s ethereal feel through the reflection of light, these works have been cast in glossy black vinyl and electroplated with ‘precious metal’ accents. While this “polished finish really made sense for the overall geometry of the piece,” as the artist notes, it came at a price: of the 500 editions that were initially planned, just under 200 sets met quality standards after electroplating. But these materials and finishes were essential to the works, their presence implying “the world of product design” and how it shapes “our visual landscape,” according to Blank William, an artist who frequently challenges the line between fine art and consumerism. And perhaps it is through this lens that Ideals, Dreams, and Hard Facts is most successful, as this set — which was exhibited throughout most of January at Hong Kong’s GE Artwork Studio — would feel as perfectly at home within a Downtown Disney District shop as it does in a gallery setting.

Contact VTSS to inquire about reserving Blank William’s Ideals, Dreams, and Hard Facts.

For more information on Blank William:
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