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Attaching art to the OUTSIDE of a box and shipping it fully exposed around the world. (+Giveaway)

Art is usually carefully packaged before shipping, but what if you do the opposite and use the art itself as a box? In this experiment, 4 originals were bundled together, art facing outwards, and sent as far as possible (to Japan) and back, in order to see in what condition they return.

A recent piece called "Amazon Crime - (Same day thievery)" was fittingly painted on a custom, hand built box that can directly be hung on a wall. It got a lot of inquiries about when it might be available as an edition, which got me thinking about how it could be shipped. Its already a box, its kind of silly to place it in a second box... I wonder in what condition it would arrive in if it was sent as is? Theres only one way to find out!

Anybody who has received a TABBY piece will have noticed that a lot of care goes into every package. A box can contain anywhere from a few hundred, to a few thousand dollars worth of art, so you want it to withstand the rough ride ahead. Not only that, you want the outside to be anonymous and not advertise what valuable items are inside.

In this case we will ignore all that, skip any protection and embrace any dents, bruises, scratches, rain etc that the package might experience. It will just become part of the art.

What might look like a standard large box at first glance, is actually 4 individual, custom built boxes combined into one. The advantage here is that we can take them apart again later and have 4 boxes to hang as art.

Step one, build the boxes. Done!

Step two, paint the boxes. Done!

(The art is painted using spray paint/stencils and consists of 9 total layers.)

The 4 finished pieces are then securely combined into their final shipping form, one giant box.

But where do we send them? Japan of course! With the help from my good friend Rio at Gallery Kawamatsu in Tokyo, we now have a place to send it and somebody that can then send it back.

So now we have a box to send, but what should we put inside? Obvious answer, another box! Inside will be a 5th piece that the gallery in Japan can take out.

Brilliant, everything is coming together. The package is ready, the art is painted and the awkward customs forms filled out. "Contents of box: Box" "Value: ̶2̶0̶0̶0̶€̶ or is it 5€?". When exactly does art get its value? It hasnt been sold and I havnt officially added a price tag, so is it the material cost? How much was the cardboard? Can I give this away for free? Or might somebody from customs recognize it, claim a TABBY original is worth way more and apply customs fees..?

(Tangent but true story: Somebody once sent back a 100€ print they accidentally damaged and I offered to replace. It was opened at customs and they googled the piece. Since somebody had just flipped one of these prints on ebay for 500$, they declared that to be the official value. I then had to pay 100€ (20%) customs fee to receive my own, damaged print back. Good times.)

All thats left now is to bring it to the post office.

Pro tip: Dont stuff a giant box into a car by force, this is how it got its first bit of damage. One corner was left with a hole, but a piece of tape later and we had it covered again. I guess thats part of the art now as well.

The post office was also fun. Will the art lead to any questions? Will sending a 105€ express package to Japan, containing only one "cardboard box" raise any eyebrows? Yes!

(Beginning of voyage from Vienna, Austria --> Tokyo, Japan)