During the MTAG NYC event, local artist Tomokazu Matsuyama gave James a uniquely designed pair of Air Max LeBron VII shoes. Matsuyama spent considerable time brainstorming the creative outlet to best represent LeBron, his close relationships with his family and friends and his fearless ability to continually grow and reinvent himself on the court. Matsuyama focused heavily on a reincarnation theme for the design aesthetic, shown through the inclusion of the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4. The numbers “0” and “1” relate to birth and reincarnation in the Japanese Buddhist tradition, with the number “4” traditionally symbolic of the world “perish”. Interconnected by thin lines, the numbers come to represent the order and chaos of life, connection with others and ultimately reincarnation. The one-of-a-kind design has more that 700 Swarovski crystals individually affixed to the shoes. The crystals represent the Asian philosophy “Gyokuseki-Konko”, implying that life is an amalgamation of rocks and jewels. These crystals also capture the aesthetic of eternity and the minimal beauty of the reincarnation concept.
“Life is filled with challenges and difficulties,” said Matsuyama, adding, “To overcome such hardships and to become “Fearless” it is important to be able to count on the support of friends, family, teammates and loved ones. Those connections give us strength to move ahead into life’s chaos without fear”. Matsuyama lives and works in New York City. As a contemporary artist, he exhibits his work internationally showing in galleries and in institutions in Tokyo, Osaka, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and Vancouver. Matsuyama’s work is influenced by both post-war contemporary art and popular culture. His art is a conscious and introspective response to the tensions of bicultural experience, as his upbringing split between Japan and America spurred the questions of national and individual identity, exemplified prominently in the style and subject matter of his paintings.4Show Album