Japan House Los Angeles Launches “Yes, KAWAII is Art -EXPRESS YOURSELF-” With ‘King of Kawaii’ Sebastian Masuda

First-Ever Harajuku Day in Hollywood Popup Held May 4 To Celebrate Opening Weekend

LOS ANGELES, May 01, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles is pleased to announce the opening of “Yes, KAWAII is Art -EXPRESS YOURSELF-” in partnership with renowned multi-disciplinary artist and “King of Kawaii” Sebastian Masuda. Translating to “cute” or “adorable,” Japanese kawaii culture has evolved into a global phenomenon encompassing fashion, art, technology, and even social behavior. The exhibition, on display May 2 - November 3, 2024, for the first time brings together multiple Masuda artworks that unravel kawaii concepts while sharing his personal kawaii story with the world.

As a special bonus to kawaii fans, the first-ever Harajuku Day in Hollywood will take place at the Ovation Hollywood Courtyard on Saturday, May 4 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. in celebration of the exhibition’s launch. The dazzling event will feature fashion shows, interactive booths, and a special DJ set by the kawaii culture pioneer himself, Sebastian Masuda.

Through Masuda’s collection of artifacts from the origins of the culture and dazzling immersive art installations, “Yes, KAWAII is Art -EXPRESS YOURSELF-” invites visitors to explore the cultural context and significance of the kawaii movement and step into the colorful world to feel the aesthetic for themselves.

A highlight of the exhibition is Masuda’s Kawaii Timeline illustrating the historical roots of kawaii culture in Japan, tracing its evolution from post-war media and shōjo manga (comics for girls) to its expansion into a global phenomenon from within the Harajuku district of Tokyo in the 1990s. The exhibition also includes two interactive experiences, both inspired by the desire for the global kawaii network to connect with one another during the COVID-19 pandemic: Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare-, an intimate immersive room installation comprised of seven themes inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins; and Sense Share Bear, an interactive VR experience.

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.).

The Sense Share Bear installation will be available for guests to experience for limited hours:

Opening Week
• Dates: Thursday, May 2 – Sunday, May 5
• Time: Limited hours between 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Regular Hours (Weekdays Only)
• Dates: Monday, May 6 – Sunday, November 3
• Time: Limited hours between 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

No reservations required and walk-ins welcome. Times are subject to change and wait times may vary.

About Harajuku Day in Hollywood
The free Harajuku Day in Hollywood takes place on Saturday, May 4 at the Ovation Hollywood Courtyard. Featuring an array of local vendors showcasing their kawaii clothing, accessories, and other original items, as well as the special pop-up booth of leading kawaii brand 6%DOKIDOKI from exhibition creator and artist Sebastian Masuda.

Throughout the day, fashion shows will spotlight kawaii streetstyle and present collections from beloved kawaii fashion brands. Interactive DIY booths will allow guests to make their own accessories like colorful plastic kandi bracelets, heart shaker necklaces full of beads and glitter, and custom bows and bowties. In an exclusive performance, kawaii culture pioneer Sebastian Masuda will also take the stage for a very special DJ set.

A full program schedule can be found online.

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.

Media Sponsors: LAist, Los Angeles Magazine
Promotional Partners: Starbucks, 2024 Animation is Film Festival

The exhibition will also include additional 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, 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/14c6f8d4-b28d-40fe-aa4d-5a66df76b2f1

Japanese "KAWAII" Culture through Free Exhibition & Harajuku Day Pop-Up Event