To celebrate Sacai’s Spring 21 message of “LOVE OVER RULES”, Chitose Abe venerates her partnership with artist Hank Willis Thomas, whose work the words originated from, with a poetic and empowering two-part campaign. Inspired by those who have broken the rules and pushed the boundaries to defy society’s expectations regardless of race, culture or gender, the campaign realized by Hank Willis Thomas Studio in collaboration with Equator Productions features individuals with a focus on collective community through portrait photography, and a film integrating music, movement, and interviews with the cast members discussing what “LOVE OVER RULES” means to them. Thomas sought to create an emotive film that captures the essence of the collection’s theme reimagining intimacy and virtual community, exemplifying the power of choosing love over fear. The cast of individuals includes trumpeter and composer Keyon Harrold; movement artist, Mizuho Kappa; artist, Zoë Buckman; designer and advocate, Celine Semaan Vernon; jazz pianist, Jason Moran; and artist and activist, Chella Man; as well as Thomas himself and his wife, curator Rujeko Hockley.

HANK WILLIS THOMAS is an American conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, commodity, media, and popular culture. His body of work encompasses video, public art and collaborative installations, sculpture, and photography that inspire reflection on how art informs racial equity and civil rights. Thomas transcends his visual art oeuvre to brand partnerships in fashion and consumer goods, opening a new dimension in his exploration of advertising and the ubiquity of messaging. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad, including at the International Center of Photography, NY; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain; Musée du quai Branly, Paris; Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong, and the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Netherlands.

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