Best known as the creator of the iconic floral skull image made for late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2008 Menswear collection, Jacky Tsai combines traditional Chinese painting techniques and references with western Pop Art styles. Clearly influenced by the artist’s move to London from his native China in his early 20’s, Tsai’s work embraces two cultural extremes by fusing social imagery associated with east and west to produce works which are both conceptual and aesthetically pleasing in equal measures.
Even more poignant perhaps than the bringing together of these two extremes is Tsai’s desire to dispel attitudes of fear and superstition prevalent in Chinese culture, in relation to the human skull, death and decay. Via his experience as an expat as well as an artist, he channels nostalgia for the conditions of his past to concentrate effort and encouragement on the emergence of beauty within the symbol of the skull – playing with concepts of regeneration within the cycle of life.
With a keen interest in fashion and textiles after his work with McQueen, in 2011 Tsai set up his own luxury fashion label, Jacky Tsai, which sees him place his art imagery onto clothing and accessories with the aim to break the barrier between art and fashion and create "art level" fashion products for collectors of both exclusive fashion and art. The label has since been extremely popular and is now represented in high-end UK department store Harvey Nichols with collaborations with other high-profile brands in the pipeline.
Born in China in 1984, Tsai grew up in Shanghai and after completing his BA at the China Academy of Art, moved to London to study MA Illustration at Central St Martin’s, graduating in 2008.
A dynamic and prolific artist who constantly evolves his ideas, 30-year-old Tsai is dedicated to taking his work to the next level, never losing momentum and always out to impress. This includes the extension of his floral skull into a stunning 1.6m skull sculpture adorned with one thousand leather flowers. His eye for incorporating and combining re-imagined concepts of beauty with an inventive approach to traditional materials and techniques continues to promise new and exciting art.
His most recent piece is an over-sized egg which he made for the Faberge Big Egg Hunt that takes place in New York City 1st-18th April 2014. Other artists and designers involved include Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin, Ralph Lauren and Zaha Hadid and the eggs will be exhibited all together and then some will be auctioned off for charity at Sotheby’s at the end of the month.