Luke Chueh’s Headspace

Before taking a look at Luke Chueh‘s Headspace (2015) it is worthwhile to examine one of his previous designer toy sculpture series: Black in White (2010-2011). To that end, let’s take a quick moment and look at White in Black (2011).
Released by Munky King, this was the third in the Black in White series, which were very notable for this reason: they all had a very nice plush costume on them and you could remove their vinyl head to put on the cloth covered one, allowing you to display it either fully attired or sans mask. And it was quite the iconic series for Chueh, though nowhere near as much as Headspace.

The History of Headspace

Begun as a series of paintings by Chueh in 2012 for display at the London-based Moniker Art Fair, this series of paintings explored what was underneath his bear character. By having the bear character remove its head and show a different head underneath, Chueh was able to track his artistic journey, using a variety of pop culture icons, references to artists that he’d found important, and even cute characters he’s utilized in his other lowbrow humor works.

My Impressions of Headspace

The Headspace figure itself is actually an ingenious recreation of Chueh’s paintings. Specifically two of them, the one depicting the white bear taking off its head to reveal a black bear’s head and the one with a rabbit’s head inside. “How both?” you ask. Much like the Black in White figures, the head comes off and another head can go on.
Luke Chueh - Headspace Review
I asked Chueh about how additional heads will be made available, as this specific version was limited for San Diego Comic-Con. Thus, obviously, the people that bought this might want the new heads in the future to interchange on it, but other people won’t have the bodies. And vice versa. Chueh said it’s very important to both him and Patrick Lam of Munky King, who produced this figure, that they offer this both with and without a body in the future. So that means that people will just be able to buy the head to continue to grow their collection of interchangeability.

It’s really fantastically done, the head comes on and off easily. I even like the detail that the bear head mask has hollow eyes and a hollow bottom, really makes it look like it was a costume. And if you can see the little details here, it even has a zipper on the body, showing off that it is a suit being worn.

The Future of Headspace

We’ve already heard that the next head in this series is going to be the Pirate Abe head from Rotofugi‘s mascot. According to Chueh, after that there will definitely be a monkey, a chicken, and a skull head.
Luke Chueh - Headspace Review
In addition to the monkey, chicken, and skull, Chueh confirms that they are hoping to release every single head design he had in the original painting series. As such, Luke Chueh and Munky King are talking about possibly doing a collector’s subscription series for the heads, meaning that members will be guaranteed a copy of every head they release. Brilliant idea, since this figure’s modular nature is really what makes it work. It is an ongoing exploration of Luke Chueh’s art, and with each head a different element is revealed. I foresee this being an excellent ongoing and growing series of figures for your art collection.

Headspace as Open Source?

Chueh was willing to answer a very strange question I had: with the amount of sculptors and resin casters out there, how would he feel if someone made a head that fit on this figure and made a small run of it in resin? He told me that he would love it. That’s right, he’s given permission to anybody to do just that. But, and here’s his one little proviso: you’ve gotta make extra copies of the piece for him and for Patrick Lam at Munky King. They both want to have complete collections and they wouldn’t be complete without even bootlegs.

Editions of Headspace [show]

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