Another highlight in Sunday’s festivities at the More Than A Game Community Day was the presentation of an one-of-one Nike Air Max LeBron VII (7) created by a local artist, in honor of LeBron James‘ achievements. For New York City’s edition, that local artist was none other than our friend, Tomokazu “Matsu” Matsuyama aka MATZU-MTP. When asked to participate in the LeBron project with the “Fearless” theme, one of the 6 personal credos LeBron James lives by. Matsuyama quickly thought of the obstacles LeBron, along with his mother Gloria, had to overcome just a few years earlier. In order to accurately portray LeBorn’s struggles and subsequent triumph, without overwhelming the design. Matsu employed the simple form of ancient Japanese numerology to tell the story. Numerals 0,1,2,3, and 4 displayed intermittently among the Swarovski crystal designs. The number 0 and 1 are both symbolic in the philosophy of Zen Buddhism for birth and reincarnation. Both as in the constant renewal one must go through in order to overcome difficulties. The number 4 meant demise and misfortune, while 2 and 3 are the jersey number of LeBron. The numerals appears randomly along the graphics, a representation on the unexpected perils we face in life. Yet each could be resolve with the help of friends and family.
The number of Swarovski crystals also played an important part. A total of 700 were used, as in the lucky number 7. Finally, the crystals themselves are emblems of clarity and simplicity. Their arrangement reflects the concept of gyokusei konka, or arrangement of stones as a meditation medium. Certainly, this project was a form of meditation for Matsu. In talking with him after the presentation, that artist stated that it was almost a blasphemy for him to paint over the new Air Max LeBron VII (7) since he really appreciate the simple design, a factor in selecting Swarovski crystals as a medium. Then for a month, he had to sort each of the 700 crystals and painstakingly adhere them to the sneaker. But as LeBron happily accepted them onstage, the effort was definitely worth it.