Written by Oscar Holland, CNN
He has appeared in the foothills of Mount Fuji and in the middle of downtown Taipei. His reclining figure has even floated placidly on Seoul’s Seokchon Lake and in Hong Kong’s famous Victoria Harbour.
Now, American artist KAWS’ signature character, Companion, is set to take to the skies across several world cities — as a hot air balloon.
On Monday, KAWS, whose real name is Brian Donnelly, announced plans to fly his huge new sculpture above major cities in countries including Australia, China, Turkey and Spain. The exact schedule will be dictated by demand for flight packages, which will see groups of two or three ascend in the balloon for an as-yet-undisclosed price.
The hot air balloon pictured on a flight in Bristol, UK.
Images from a recent test flight near Bristol, UK — a city known for hosting one of Europe’s largest hot air balloon festivals — show an inflated Companion covering his eyes as he soars high above the ground. At 42 meters (138 feet), the floating artwork is about as tall as a 15-story building.
As well as offering a unique experience for fans, Donnelly said he wanted to provide a surprising moment for people on the ground.
“It really will be an unexpected thing in the sky,” he said on a call from New York City. “To have a work that suddenly interrupts your sight line for a few minutes, going through different cities in the world, is, for me, very exciting.”
The hot air balloon is about as tall as a 15-story building.
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Gigantic KAWS hot air balloon to take flight over major world cities
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