Interview: Internationally Popular Japanese Artist Chocomoo Talks About Upcoming Harajuku Exhibition

23.January.2020 | SPOT

A huge exhibition of Chocomoo’s artwork is set to adorn WITH HARAJUKU HALL from August 20 to September 28 this year for “Chocomoo EXHIBITION -OUR SECRET PARTY- Supported by WITH HARAJUKU.”

Chocomoo is a Japanese artist born and bred in Kyoto. Her work is known for its originality and pop style which she draws in black and white. Her work has been used for clothing and apparel brands, for music artists, and for many other special collaborations with other companies. She is active internationally and draws huge popularity with Japanese women between the ages of 10-20. We have translated an interview with her which was just released.

 

Chocomoo Interview

 

“I’ve loved drawing ever since I was a kid. I’d draw in notebooks, sketchbooks. When I went to New York for the first time, too, I kept a sketch diary and would draw in the park. I was later asked by a guy who managed a gallery if I’d put my work on at his site.”

 

It was there at that gallery exhibiting several of her works that the first buyer came by.

“I sold my first piece of art. A piece of art drawn by an ‘ordinary person,’ not someone who was an active artist. It was about 30 dollars, if I recall, but I was super happy.”

 

New York helped pave the way for Chocomoo to begin her first steps towards becoming an illustrator.

 

She would post her art on her blog and social media, which was seen by singers and songwriters who got in touch with her. She penned artwork for their tour merchandise, album covers, and more. Recently, she collaborated with Italian car brand FIAT. They released 100 limited edition cars with her art on it. Japanese convenience store FamilyMart even sold umbrellas with Chocomoo’s illustrations on them. The reach of her work has no limits.

 

“When I create a piece, I incorporate a lot of positive words into it in the hopes that it lifts people up.”

One distinct aspect of Chocomoo’s art is the black and white monotone colouring. When asked why she draws in this way, she said: “I did calligraphy from elementary school to high school and was captivated by how we would write in black. When using black ink, it has a matte look to it, and when using black paint, it’s got a glossiness. I think that’s part of the reason why I do it.”

 

This will be Chocomoo’s biggest exhibition. She is currently working on new material and looking into the details of the exhibition. Speaking about it, she said: “I want to try evolving in a way that’s me. I’m aiming to stimulate the people who come to see my work in a different kind of way.”

She also commented on the ‘OUR SECRET PARTY’ part of the exhibition title. “It’s an exhibition of my work, but I want everyone to enjoy it like they would a party. There’s also new things to be discovered which you won’t no about unless you visit, so I put ‘secret’ in there.”

 

Chocomoo was asked to give a comment on her future plans and goals. She said, with a smile: “I want to steadily keep doing what I’m best at without changing what I already have, but I also want my work to reach lots of children too. I’d be happy for them to colour in my work, and I want to challenge myself to making some kind of video format aimed at kids. After that, since I’ve already painted a car, I want to go bigger and paint an aeroplane!”

 

Interview/Original Text: Naho Sotome (五月女菜穂)

Photos: 大黒屋 Ryan 尚保

English Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

 

As Chocomoo looks to expand her portfolio and reach, we look forward to seeing what she has in store for her exhibition in Harajuku.

 

©2020 Chocomoo

RELATED ENTRIES

  • TV Anime The Rolling Girls Exhibition to Take Place in Tokyo This September

    04.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The Rolling Girls is an anime series produced by Wit Studio that aired in 2015. In celebration of the 5th anniversary of the girly, road movie-like series, the anime will be released in a special Blu-ray box in Japan on December 16, 2020.

    The 5-year milestone will also be celebrated with an exhibition at Space Caiman in Tokyo from September 18 to 21. There will be illustrations and messages posted up from the anime’s production staff, including the director Kotomi Deai, screenwriter Yasuyuki Muto, character designer tanu, and character setter Katsuhiko Kitada, and as well as the Mob themselves—the four main characters.

    The event will be one no fan will want to miss out on as staff and fans come together to express their love for the series.

     

    A special display will also be set up which will showcase drafts and production materials from when the anime was being produced.

    This includes character illustrations, image boards, character settings, original works, background art, and more. Fans can also get their hands on some exclusive 5th anniversary merchandise too.

     

    ©2015 The Rolling Girls Production Committee製作委員会

  • RIVERSIDE CLUB: Food, Art & Music Culture Come Together in Nakameguro’s New All-Day Lounge

    01.August.2020 | FASHION / FOOD

    RIVERSIDE CLUB officially opened on the first floor of “THE WORKS” along Meguro River in Tokyo on July 17, 2020. An all-day lounge which can be enjoyed from breakfast to dinner, its concept is a fusion of food, art, and music cultures which it calls “GOOD CULTURE SALON.”

    RIVERSIDE CLUB boasts an incredible menu forged by chefs at the forefront of Tokyo’s food culture. Meals can be enjoyed while gazing at the various artwork on display, and customers can look forward to seeing collaborations with numerous apparel brands. It’s a unique space designed by adults for adults, the likes of which has never been seen before.

     

    Comfort food is at the heart of RIVERSIDE CLUB’s menu design which they have cooked up using their own unique vision.


    For breakfast, customers can enjoy a healthy smoothie made from a blend of kale, pineapple, kiwi and avocado. If they’re looking for something more classic, they can order the avocado toast served with bacon and eggs, or cold-pressed juice by SUNSHINE JUICE which hails as Japan’s first shop specialising in cold-pressed juice. The thought behind the morning menu is making sure to get both a tasty and nutritional meal down customers even if they’re in a rush.

     

    If customers are looking for something a bit more hearty in the morning then they can check out the all-day menu where they’ll find the lounge’s fat and juicy 100% beef “RIVERSIDE BURGER.” There’s also the “Lemon Rice” provided by LEMON RICE TOKYO, a popular Shibuya-based restaurant owned by Yuhi Komiyama, the vocalist of Hoff Dylan and known as the gourmet chef of the music industry. Everything on the menu is made with Tokyo’s food culture in mind, and if you’re looking for something very Tokyo-esque, then there’s the “Hamburger Naporitan,” a bed of spaghetti topped with a hamburger.

    Popular foods from NAKAMURA GENERAL STORE will also be served, such as scones, carrot cake, apple crumble, lemon pie, and more. NAKAMURA GENERAL STORE is a popular Hawaiian bakery which was originally in charge of pastries served at Diamond Head Market & Grill, which is famous for its Hawaiian lunches and scones, but subsequently opened its own store in Kyoto and became so popular that it often sells out its stock by evening time. Coffee made using specially selected coffee beans provided by Minami-Aoyama-based coffee rosters will also be served and goes perfectly with NAKAMURA GENERAL STORE’s food. Customers will be able to order their own coffees or buy their own bag of beans to take home.

    RIVERSIDE CLUB has collaborated with numerous artists for graphics on show there. Their logo was created by “& Supply,” a Tokyo-based creative studio. Various artwork will be displayed, including a photograph of Lady Gaga taken by Nobuyoshi Araki for a bondage-themed photoshoot in Vogue Hommes Japan. Pieces by LEEGET, who creates graphics and illustrations, will also be displayed. RIVERSIDE CLUB will continue to serve its “GOOD CULTURE SALON” theme by promoting more artwork in the future.

     

    RIVERSIDE CLUB also allows pets, so customers can enjoy a quiet time with their furry comrades. Pets will get their own pet-friendly menu, toys, and more in the future.

  • Sebastian Masuda’s New Art Book Covers Everything From Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s ‘PONPONPON’ to Today

    31.July.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    Sebastian Masuda, the leader of Japan’s culture of kawaii, released his first art book Masuda Sebastian Artworks PAINT IT, COLORFUL on July 31, 2020.

    The scope of Sebastian Masuda’s influence is unrivalled. His touch can be seen all across Japanese kawaii culture, ranging from his work on Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s viral hit music video PONPONPON which skyrocketed her career, to Harajuku’s famous concept restaurant KAWAII MONSTER CAFE, the Miracle Gift Parade at Sanrio Puroland, as well as countless work on TV, commercials, advertisements, characters, stage, concerts, and more.

    Printed in full colour, the art book covers Masuda’s art direction from 2010 to 2019 in the form of photos of his actual works, design sketches, and plenty of other content for fans to soak up.

    It also includes photos of an installation that has been visited by over 20,000 people which was created during Masuda’s time overseas in places like New York and Amsterdam, as well as his art exhibit currently on display at World Disney World Florida.

     

    Sebastian Masuda’s career as an artist spans over 30 years. Get your hands on a copy of his first art book to see his success over the past decade.

  • Laforet Harajuku’s Midsummer Takeaway Desserts Include Cinnamoroll Goodies

    31.July.2020 | FOOD

    Eight shops inside Laforet Harajuku are participating in the shopping mall’s midsummer takeout dessert event which is taking place from August 1 to 31. This includes the new milk dessert shop “MILK MILK MILK” which opened as the first branch in Japan on July 17 this year. Desserts and merchandise of Sanrio’s popular character Cinnamoroll, who won this year’s 2020 Sanrio Character Ranking, will also be sold.

     

    café de paris | Floor B1F


    Many Many Fruits Sandwich: Mango ¥626 / Green Grape ¥561 (Tax Included) *Takeout only

    Fresh fruit is packed onto these adorable looking sweet sandwiches.

     

    CAFE CREPE | Floor 1F


    Honey Summer Orange: ¥730 (Tax Included) *Takeout only

    Another cute summer dessert finished with swirls of fresh cream, fresh orange, and a round dollop of ginger ice cream.

     

    MILK MILK MILK! | Floor 2F


    Milk Bottle Smoothie: ¥880 (Tax Included) *Takeout and have-in

    Served in a cute milk bottle, what better way to cool down than with a cool strawberry smoothie?

    Cinnamoroll Milk Pudding: ¥1,078 (Tax Included) *Takeout and have-in


    Cinnamoroll Sky Beaker Parfait: ¥1,048 (Tax Included) *Have-in only

    There are two tasty Cinnamoroll desserts to choose from, including the milk pudding made with Hokkaido milk and a parfait with a gradient or jelly and chocolate mint ice cream, topped with mint, and served in a beaker.

     

    © 2001,2020 SANRIO.,CO.LTD. APPROVAL NO.S610695

  • Tokyo’s New ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM to Open in Nihonbashi This Summer

    26.July.2020 | SPOT

    ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM is set to open in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on August 28, 2020. Produced by Hidetomo Kimura, the museum will be Art Aquarium’s first permanent museum which will fuse music and lighting to create a breathtaking aquarium experience

     

    Area Concepts

    ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM will offer Art Aquarium’s biggest museum space to date, with each area having its own unique theme.

     

    Prologue

    Dive into the extraordinary world of water. This area will showcase popular artworks of past events held by Art Aquarium, with artwork altered on an irregular basis from the company’s collection.

     

    Transitoriness

    This area symbolises the modern Edo Hanamachi district, which represents the basic concept of the Art Aquarium. Feel the beautifully transient stories and gorgeous glittering world through the life of oiran.

     

    Mystery

    Visitors are invited to an extraordinary world and surreal space, one with different dimensions beyond human wisdom. Is it on the ground? Underwater? In the universe? Stepping into this mysterious and overwhelming space where different worlds coexist at the same time will bring you incredibly unforgettable experiences.

     

    Traditional Art

    Here, you can feel the Japanese aesthetics while gazing at Oimatsu, the cultural property drawn by the Kano school during the Edo period. Traditional art performances will often take place here too.

     

    Joy


    The sense of taste is most familiar to human beings among five basic human senses. Enjoy the Art Aquarium and feel the Japanese nostalgic atmosphere along with the original cuisines of the Cafe Lounge.

     

    Gift


    Souvenirs are essential for remembering the places where you have visited.  Visit the gift shop and take away a piece of the dreamlike Art Aquarium world away with you.

  • Harajuku’s KAWAII MONSTER CAFE Serves Up a Special Summertime 5th Anniversary Lunch Menu

    26.July.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year with a special limited-time summer lunch menu which is now being served until September 30.

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE opened its crazy doors on August 1, 2015. Since then, it has become an iconic must-visit spot of Tokyo’s youth fashion hub Harajuku, serving Harajuku-esque food, drinks, and desserts. And they haven’t held back on their colourful anniversary lunch either.

     

    *Menu names have been translated from Japanese. The main dishes listed are an excerpt from the full menu.

     

    MAIN DISHES

    KAWAII Cold Noodles ~5 Years Begun~ | ¥980

    This gorgeously colourful KAWAII MONSTER CAFE-style serving of cold noodles looks just like a parfait. The rainbow of ingredients is made to look like the goldfish scooping game seen at Japanese festivals.

    Colourful Pop Burger – Froggy Looking Back Over 5 Years | ¥1,480

    This frog burger has been seen at the cafe before, but this one celebrates 5 years of KAWAII MONSTER CAFE. It’s a filling combination of bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and of course the patty, all topped with BBQ sauce. It’s served with both shoestring potato chips and lattice-cut potato chips.

     

    SWEETS


    Choppy Macaron Ice Cream | ¥950

    The popular “tunkaron” macarons make their way to the KAWAII MONSTER CAFE in this ice cream dessert which is a combination of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream made to look like the cafe’s mascot Choppy. He’s surrounded by a bed of sweet cotton candy.

    Colourful Rainbow Ice Cream Cake (Quarter) | ¥800

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE’s popular “Poison Cake” dessert arrives in an ice cream version for thr 5th anniversary. The marshmallow ice cream is filled with chocolate chips and the whole thing is coated in cream cheese. It’s topped off with a rainbow made entirely from chocolate.

    Melty Ice Cream Chocolate Banana Pie: ¥1,300

    A custard pie topped with an upside down ice cream and adorned with a kaleidoscope of fresh cream, chocolate, sweets, and more. As you eat through the dessert, you’ll find a chocolate coated banana – a classic sweet treat sold at Japanese summer festivals.

     

    DRINK

    Shake Hip Shake Chocolate Banana / Harajuku Decora Smoothie / Frozen Lemonade Ginger

    Shake Hip Shake Chocolate Banana | ¥900

    A shake that mixes cocoa and banana to create that Japanese summertime chocolate banana flavour.

     

    Harajuku Decora Smoothie | ¥900

    This peach smoothie is subtly sweet and has a satisfying texture that feels good when it goes down the throat. It’s topped with fresh peach and nata de coco.

     

    Frozen Lemonade Ginger | ¥850

    A combination of sour lemon and fragrant ginger makes this a healthy beverage. Topped with lemon and ginger sherbet, it’s a frozen, non-alcoholic cocktail.

    Briana Gigante Shake: ¥950

    This shake is a collaboration with Briana Gigante, a YouTuber. It’s also inspired by her, mixing together coffee jelly, berry sauce, and brown cane sugar. It’s finished with a topping of fresh strawberry, Oreo, and chocolate lips.

     

    KIDS MENU

    Kids Pop Mini Sliders w/Drink: ¥780

    A colourful slider dish that’s sure to be adored by kids. It comes with both a mini cheeseburger and fried shrimp burger with a side of nuggets and fries.

    Kids Kiss Parfait: ¥850

    The cafe’s “Poison Parfait” has been turned into a kids version, layered with strawberry sauce, milk sauce, Japanese pudding, vanilla and strawberry ice cream, gummies, marshmallows, fresh berries, and chocolate lips.

  • Studio Ghibli Exhibition to be Held in Aichi Prefecture This Summer

    16.July.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Aichi Prefecture and Chunichi Shimbun have revealed that they are to hold a Studio Ghibli exhibition at Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art from July 22, 2020 – September 3, 2020.

    Yubaba wearing a Mask ©TS ©Studio Ghibli

    The exhibition, called Ghibli no “Dai Janai” Hakurankai (Ghibli’s “Not So Big” Exhibition), will be taking all necessary safety measures against COVID-19 to ensure people’s safety.

     

    Never before seen Ghibli material a must-see for fans

    Ghibli Park’s “Seishun no Oka” (Hill of Youth) Area ©Studio Ghibli

    The exhibition will look back at Studio Ghibli’s past as well as into the studio’s future. Fans will be able to look at construction materials and sketches of Ghibli Park, a new Studi Ghibli themed facility set to open at Aichi Expo Memorial Park in autumn 2022, as well as dolls of the characters from the upcoming animated film Earwig and the Witch which is being written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Goro. The film was originally scheduled to premiere at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival before the event was cancelled due to COVID-19 and will now be aired by NHK this winter.

     

    The Cat Bus from the Studio Ghibli Museum will also be showcased at the event; stills taken from Studio Ghibli’s films such as Laputa: Castle in the SkyPorco RossoHowl’s Moving CastlePrincess Kaguya and more will be displayed; there will be a photo spot for taking photos, and much more.

     

    Fans of Spirited Away will also be able to get their own omikuji fortunes from the giant Zeniba and Yubaba faces.

  • Harajuku’s New Chocolate Dessert Shop SÔ CÔ La Now Open For Business

    16.July.2020 | FOOD

    The first Tokyo branch of the chocolate dessert shop SÔ CÔ La opened in Harajuku on July 15, 2020. Together with Harajuku Milk & Mot Tram—a shop which opened in collaboration with bubble tea shop Mot Tram and fresh cream shop Milk—SÔ CÔ La serves to further cement Harajuku as the number one place to go for desserts.

    SÔ CÔ La Soft Serve Ice Cream: ¥550


    SÔ CÔ La Soft Serve Ice Cream Sundae: ¥550

    SÔ CÔ La will serve a range of desserts using ruby chocolate—the officially-recognised fourth type of chocolate alongside milk, dark, and white—the cocoa beans of which have a natural pink colour. It has a sweet, sour, and fruity taste. Customers can look forward to trying a range of rich desserts made with this rare type of chocolate and blended with dark chocolate.

     

    The crunchiness of the shop’s handmade “Aragosta Cones” goes perfectly with the rich chocolate blend ice cream.

  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Features in Summer Promotional Poster For Shiseido Beauty Square in Harajuku

    12.July.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    A new summer key visual was released on July 10, 2020 for Shiseido Beauty Square, a beauty facility in front of Harajuku Station, featuring Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who is an ambassador for the establishment.

    Beauty Square’s concept aims to have people discovering their beauty, having fun, sharing experiences, and learning the latest in the scene. Visitors will be able to purchase cosmetics and makeup products, participate in interactive digital content, experience the salon where hair and makeup artists will beauty up customers, and more. Focused on younger customers, Beauty Square is a place to find your inner beauty, and what better place to do it than in Harajuku—Tokyo’s hub for youth fashion, beauty, and culture?

    The new key visual conceives Harajuku’s night sky lit up by bright and vivid fireworks, with Kyary’s hair and makeup an expression of the balance and harmony of beauty. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu conveys the sense of beauty and transience of Japanese fireworks and a midsummer night’s dream. Kyary will continue to collaborate with “Beauty Diversity” focused company Shiseido’s top hair and makeup artist Tadashi Harada on a variety of beauty projects that will stimulate people’s curiosity when it comes to beauty.

  • Sanrio Characters Come Together at Tokyo’s New POWDER ART CAFE HARAJUKU

    10.July.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    The new limited-time character cafe POWDER ART CAFE HARAJUKU is set to open in Harajuku, Tokyo from July 15, 2020 to mid-January 2021.

    From July 15 to mid-October, the cafe will be centred on the Top 10 characters of this year’s Sanrio Character Ranking, an annual event where fans around the world can vote for their favourite Sanrio characters. The cafe will subsequently celebrate the 45th anniversaries of both My Melody and Little Twin Stars until mid-January next year.

    At POWDER ART CAFE HARAJUKU, where the customers can draw their own designs on their orders, like latte art, Sanrio fans can look forward to a super cute menu line-up inspired by the adorable character roster.

    My Melody Sweet & Sour Strawberry Shaved Ice


    Tuxedo Sam Seafood Coquille Plate

    If you’re visiting Harajuku any time up to January next year, be sure to stop by POWDER ART CAFE HARAJUKU to make your own kawaii Sanrio character dishes.

  • Harajuku’s Fresh Cream Shop MILK Releases Milky Soft Serve Parfaits For Summer

    08.July.2020 | FOOD

    MILK, a fresh cream shop in Harajuku, is set to hold a new summertime fair this year called “Milky Soft Fair” which will begin on July 8, 2020.

    From Left: Kiwi ¥650 / Peach ¥650 / Strawberry ¥650 / Mango ¥650 / Condensed Milk Coffee Jelly ¥630

    MILK’s “Milky Soft Serve Parfait” usually only comes in one simple flavour, but for the Milky Soft Fair, they are serving up juicy mango, strawberry, and kiwi flavours, fruity peach, and bitter coffee jelly. The summery parfaits are made with fresh cream, fresh fruit, and rich soft service ice cream. The perfect dessert for keeping cool in the hot Japanese summer!

  • Tokyo National Museum Now Showing ‘Secrets of Screen Paintings’ Exhibition in its VR Theater

    04.July.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    TNM & TOPPAN Museum Theater—a theatre set up by Tokyo National Museum, The National Center for the Promotion of Cultural Properties, and Toppan Printing where visitors can experience cultural assets in virtual reality—had to temporarily closed due to the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, they their Secrets of Screen Paintings: Wind God and Thunder God and Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn exhibition can finally go ahead in the VR experience which will run from July 1 to October 4.

     

    Additionally, Tokyo National Museum will display Japan’s painting and cultural property Wind God and Thunder God in Room 7 of the main building from July 21 to August 10.

     

    The Secrets of Screen Paintings: Wind God and Thunder God and Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn online exhibition speaks for itself: it is a VR recreation that looks into the secrets behind two screen paintings and cultural properties—Wind God and Thunder God by Ogata Kōrin and Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn by Sakai Hōitsu.

     

    VR “Secrets of Screen Paintings: Wind God and Thunder God and Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn”

    There’s something hidden behind Kōrin’s byōbu screen painting Wind God and Thunder God. Incredibly, it’s Hōitsu’s masterpiece Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn. Kōrin’s screen painting belonged to Hōitsu’s family. Hōitsu long admired Kōrin and considered him his mentor.

     

    The exhibition will dive into this secret story behind Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn, the famous painting of rain-drenched and wind-battered flowers.

     

    The ancient paintings brought to life

    The two folding screen paintings have been separated and safely stored since 1974 to ensure their preservation. The VR experience recreates the paintings’ original back-to-back form.

     

    Understand the secrets

    Wind God and Thunder God was painted on the front of the folding screen while Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn was painted on the back. By looking at both, we uncover the deeper story behind these ancient paintings.

     

    See the folding screens in the right light

    Thanks to VR technology, the folding screens can be made bigger to look at all of the little details and in the right light.

RANKING

  • DAILY
  • MONTHLY

FOLLOW US