This Is Not A Toy: Contemporary Art & Design Exhibit

The Design Exchange unveils their newest exhibition today and it’s amazing! This Is Not A Toy: An Exhibition of Contemporary Art and Collectible Design is an incredible wonderland of fine art and pop culture.

Curated by John Wee Tom, Sara Nickleson and guest curated, Pharrell Williams, this new exhibition brings highly sought after works of contemporary art from artists such as KAWS, Takashi Murakami, Coarse, Huck Gee, Kidrobot, Yoshitomo Nara and many more.  Several of the artists have never shown in “museum” settings like this in Canada and the world’s first ever large-scale exhibition of designer toys under the same roof…so it’s quite the space to experience. I felt like a kid in a candy store walking through a dream world.

This Is Not A Toy - Media PreviewLying at the intersection of fine art, design, pop culture, street culture and luxury goods. Highly collectible miniatures are displayed along side larger than life sculptures, paintings and everything in between. There’s a fun space with oversized plush creations  by DOMA that you can’t help but hug but also gives thought to media control and the meaning of truth.

As an avid art collector, Pharrell Williams was first introduced to this world of designer toys through Nigo, the founder of the Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape. Since then, Pharrell has commissioned many toys and paintings for his personal collection and home. There are art pieces from Pharrell Williams’ personal collection on display as well. In fact, BAPE’s Milo on a Rocking Horse is  usually in his living room.

This Is Not A Toy - Media Preview / Photo credit: Sonya Davidson

Want to dig deeper into the works of art? Visitors can absorb a multi-faceted sensory experience, as  immerse themselves with music, video, and vinyl via iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina display and iMac. Listen to in-depth interviews with artists such as KAWS, Huck Gee and Frank Kozik, see stop-motion videos created by fans of Kidrobot figures, and get an exclusive look at how vinyl toys are made and customized. T

There are events planned as well …

THIS IS NOT A WORK PARTY: Presented by INK Entertainment (19+) will be held on Febraury 26, Marcy 26, April 23, May 14. Includes access to the exhibition.

DXTALK: Cool and Collected will be held on April 1 at 6:30 pm with a rapid-fire presentation by 10 panelists who discuss the art of collecting.

FAMILY SUNDAYS: February 9, March 2, April 13 invites parents and children to explore the exhibition, create their own Kidrobot MUNNYs, face masks and accessories inspired by the exhibition.

THIS IS NOT A TOY opens February 7 to May 19, 2014 at the Design Exchange in Toronto. Visit for more information.

This Is Not A Toy - Design Exchange

Sonya is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of She is also a well-established contributing lifestyle writer to other sites and magazines sharing her passion for arts & culture, fashion, beauty, travel and food. Sonya is based in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theculturepearl

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