THE VADER PROJECT Heads to Tokyo, Japan

13 Japanese artists join the original Vader Project and premiere their customized helmets in a stunning exhibition for Star Wars Celebration Japan

July 19 - July 21, 2008

Makuhari - Messe in Chiba

The Vader Project, a reimagining of the iconic Darth Vader helmet by some of today's hottest pop and underground artists, will be on display July 19-21, 2008 at Star Wars Celebration Japan, a landmark event being held at Makuhari-Messe in Chiba just outside Tokyo to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars. For more information visit or

The Vader Project is curated by Dov Kelemer and Sarah Jo Marks of DKE Toys. Kelemer and Marks gathered close to 100 of the hottest underground and pop surrealist painters, artists , and designers to participate. Each artist was given a 1:1 scale authentic prop replica of the actual Darth Vader helmet used in the Star Wars films. Each helmet served as a blank canvas for each artist to paint, design, mash up, and customize.

Japanese artists include:

Many of these artists jumped at the chance to lend their talents to one of the most iconic pop culture characters in film history.

"This could not be a timelier event," Kelemer said. "The pop surrealist/lowbrow/graffiti/designer art scene is exploding around us. A canvas is what you make it, from bunnies to cows to toilet seats. The 'platform' group show has been around, and we have seen it all."

Ugly Doll co-creator David Horvath said it best: "It's Darth Vader!!! It's the most recognizable character in the universe. After this exhibition we don't ever need to be in a platform show again."

The Vader Project

The Vader Project originally premiered at Star Wars Celebration IV in Los Angeles in May 2007. From there it traveled to Star Wars Celebration Europe in London in June 2007. July 2007 brought 10 new helmets to the Star Wars Pavilion at the famed San Diego Comic-Con on International. The Project's exhibit at Star Wars Celebration Japan marks the first time the collection will be on display in Asia. The future plan is for the exhibition to travel to museums, galleries, and events around the world. The helmets will then be offered publicly at auction. Details will be announced later. For more updates sign up at

Dov Kelemer & Sarah Jo Marks

The Vader Project Co-Curators and Co-Founders of DKE Toys Dov Kelemer and Sarah Jo Marks make up one of the largest designer vinyl and art-toy distributors in the world, exclusively representing over 100 companies, artists, and designers. Kelemer started the business selling Star Wars memorabilia more than 15 years ago. With The Vader Project he has finally found a way to meld both his passions. Marks divides her time between managing DKE art exhibitions and all DKE promotions including STUFFED: a plush food show.

For further questions, to discuss interview opportunities or for photos of the helmets please call DKE Toys at 818.765.3500.