Japan House Los Angeles Partners with ‘King of Kawaii’ Sebastian Masuda on Next Exhibition: “Yes, Kawaii is Art -Express Yourself-"

First-Ever Exhibition Bringing Together Multiple Artworks Showcasing Kawaii Concepts and Masuda’s Personal Story

LOS ANGELES, April 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Yes, KAWAII is Art -EXPRESS YOURSELF-” in partnership with renowned multi-disciplinary artist and “King of Kawaii” Sebastian Masuda. The term kawaii literally translates to “cute” or “adorable,” but Japanese kawaii culture has evolved into a global phenomenon encompassing fashion, art, technology, and even social behavior. The colorful exhibition will be on display May 2 - November 3, 2024 and is the first to include multiple Masuda artworks unravelling kawaii concepts while introducing his personal story of sharing kawaii with the world.

Highlights of the exhibition include Masuda’s Kawaii Timeline (created in collaboration with Kyoto University of the Arts) depicting kawaii culture’s historical roots from post-war media and shōjo manga (comic books for girls) to the 1990s where it evolved into a global phenomenon rooted in Tokyo’s Harajuku district. An intimate, immersive room installation, Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare- envelops guests in the colors and aesthetic of kawaii. Multiple pieces foster discovery and engagement, such as Digital Tribe World Map and Sense Share Bear (an interactive VR work) both inspired by the desire for the global kawaii network to connect with one another during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is my hope that by engaging with Japan’s pop culture and the philosophy of kawaii, visitors will be encouraged to reflect on what's unique about themselves and contemplate how to navigate the social & personal challenges of the future.  I would be delighted if exploring these diverse perspectives could become a hint for living into tomorrow,” said Masuda.

“We’re excited to partner with celebrated artist Sebastian Masuda and showcase artwork that offers visitors a deep dive on the origins of kawaii culture, the significance of the kawaii movement, and the role it has played in fostering a sense of joy and a tool for self-expression,” said Yuko Kaifu, president, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles.  

According to Masuda, kawaii is "a personal microcosmos of beloved things, undisturbed by anyone else." This exhibition vividly reflects these words, inviting the audience into an adventure of self-expression, unlocking the infinite potential held within each individual.

The exhibition is presented by JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, with curatorial supervision by Sebastian Masuda Studio and Six Percent Inc., and support from ASOBISYSTEM Co., Ltd.

Admission to the exhibition is free. Walk-ins are welcome as space allows and the gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Mon. – Fri.) and 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Sat. – Sun.).

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The exhibition will also include related programs throughout the duration of the exhibition. For more information, visit the JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles website and social channels: Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Masuda began his career in theater and contemporary art in the early 1990s. In 1995, he opened the fashion shop 6%DOKIDOKI which became a platform for artistic expression. Currently working out of both Tokyo and New York, Masuda creates works that transcend the boundaries of art, fashion, and entertainment, showcasing a consistent and unique sense of color. From 2009 to 2011, Masuda conducted the "Harajuku Kawaii Experience" world tour, spreading awareness about the history of Harajuku and kawaii culture in over 20 cities, with a focus on Europe and the United States. As art director for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's 2011 "PONPONPON" music video, Masuda was pivotal in introducing kawaii culture to the world. In 2015, he created Tokyo's Kawaii Monster Cafe, and in 2023, produced the restaurant SUSHIDELIC in New York, further contributing to the global recognition of kawaii culture.

JAPAN HOUSE is an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs – London, Los Angeles, and São Paulo – conceived by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. It seeks to nurture a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japan in the international community. Occupying two floors at Ovation Hollywood (formerly Hollywood & Highland), JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles offers a place of new discovery that transcends physical and conceptual boundaries creating experiences that reflect the best of Japan through its spaces and diverse programs.

Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
Website: www.japanhousela.com

Media Contacts:
Nerissa Silao | 310-874-9230 | nerissas@ca.rr.com
Lisa Nakanouchi | 323-904-9298 | lnakanouchi@japanhousela.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/066385d4-c5c0-4045-b0b1-8f38f837928f

"Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare-“ with Sebastian Masuda, Photo by Yuta Sawamura