On any given day, Monkeybiz can receive a plethora of guests and customers from all over the world. The first group that enters the shop and studio’s doorway may be from Finland, the second from New York and the third from anywhere else around the glittering blue planet. On one particular day, however, a special visitor popped in with a mind-set unlike most tourists. Hikaru Noguchi from Japan came into the Monkeybiz studio in the multi-coloured neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap bringing with them a sparkling new opportunity.
Hikaru Noguchi is in fact a textile designer based in Tokyo and the perfect artistic ally to a company like Monkeybiz. As natural as water running through a valley, the powers of creative connection took place and Hikaru introduced Monkeybiz to the Minä Perhonen brand.
Minä Perhonen is a gorgeous Japanese lifestyle brand created by designer Akira Minagawa. The brand boasts and displays influence from Scandinavian lifestyle and culture with the name itself deriving from the Finnish, meaning “I butterfly.” The point is driven home that art attracts art and, in much the same way, creatives attract creatives because Monkeybiz is absolutely honoured to have done a collaboration with such an exquisite brand as Minä Perhonen.
Beaded Angel Dolls
Beaded angel dolls were designed and created by the bead artists of Monkeybiz to reflect Minä Perhonen’s unique fabric design as well as incorporating the signature butterfly logo of the brand. It is truly a gift to work with creative minds on the other side of the world and a huge honour to have the angel doll creations displayed in the renowned Mot Art Museum in Tokyo! It will not be long before Monkeybiz pieces start cropping up in contemporary art museums around the world. What can be said for sure, is that if you ever find yourself in Tokyo, keep your eyes peeled for the Minä Perhonen x Monkeybiz Angel Dolls in their bespoke stores and the Mot Art Museum.
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Monkeybiz is an economic upliftment project dedicated to reviving the traditional craft of African beadwork and empowering women to become financially independent. Since 2000 Monkeybiz has supported in the region of 300 bead artists to continue creating these unique artworks. All profits for the sale of artworks go back into the community where bead artists are provided with year-end bonuses and funeral cover for their immediate families.
The crowning achievement of Monkeybiz is that it recognises and develops the artistic ability of people who have never had the opportunity to express themselves through art. Monkeybiz provides a platform for beaders to become artists within their own right.