SNEAKERWOLF Edo-Inspired Exhibition to Open in Shibuya and Harajuku
From October 23 until October 29, art project production group WATOWA GALLERY will host a solo exhibition by SNEAKERWOLF at elephant STUDIO in Shibuya. The artist has become popular both in Japan and abroad for his works inspired by calligraphy found in the Edo period of Japanese history.
SNEAKERWOLF has garnered worldwide attention for his graffiti-style artwork depicting Edo-inspired kanji characters. In the past, he has collaborated with ASICS Tiger Japan and other popular brands. The artist will show around 15 new abstract works during this exhibition, many inspired by SD–or ‘super deformed’–versions of characters. The #FR2 x SNEAKERWOLF collaborative exhibition will be happening simultaneously in Harajuku, bringing the artist together with fashion brand #FR2. The brand and artist were brought together during an exhibition sponsored by WATOWA GALLERY in January 2021. During this period, three new pieces made specifically for #FR2 will be on display, and limited-edition clothing will be available for purchase!
SNEAKERWOLF SOLO EXHIBITION
Running: October 23 – October 29, 2021
Address: elephant STUDIO 1F (2-7-4 Shibuya, Tokyo)
Free Admission, No Reservations Required
#FR2 x SNEAKERWOLF
Running: October 23 – October 29, 2021
Address: #FR2GALLERY (TX 101 Building 1F, 4-28-16 Jingumae, Shibuya)
Free Admission, No Reservations Required
Official Site: https://fr2.tokyo/
Report: Sebastian Masuda’s ‘Yes, Kawaii is Art’ Exhibition at Kanda Myojin Shrine Goes Beyond ‘Cute’
What does the word ‘kawaii’ mean to you? For most people overseas, it’s a purely Japanese aesthetic combining colorful visuals with cutesy characters to make something so adorable it defies imagination. In recent years, however, ‘kawaii’ has become a kind of philosophy that transcends language, national borders, and even consciousness. It’s a driving force behind people’s lives and something that pulls people out of bed in the morning–it’s something capable of instantly putting a smile on people’s faces. For those wishing to study the philosophy behind the ‘kawaii’ movement, the Godfather of Kawaii Sebastian Masuda is currently holding an exhibition at Kanda Myojin Shrine in Tokyo until December 12, 2021. What is it about ‘kawaii’ that is so capable of inspiring so many different people and cultures around the world?
A correlation chart welcomes guests to the grounds. The ‘Kawaii Archival Research,’ a project on kawaii culture conducted with students from the Kyoto University of Arts, collected data on ‘kawaii’ trends from the post-war period to the present day. Through interactions with the worldwide ‘kawaii’ community, it’s clear how much of an impact the aesthetic has had on people around the globe.
In the midst of the pandemic in 2020, Masuda announced #KAWAIITRIBE, a way to encourage those coping with depression during the days of COVID-19. His followers were asked to use ‘color’ to bring the world together, and more and more, the ‘kawaii’ movement became a way to express and love oneself. Using #KAWAIITRIBE, more and more fans of the movements became connected–even if those users were countries apart.
The hashtag #SPEAKUP was also utilized by Masuda to collect data from ‘kawaii’ lovers around the world, asking about hobbies, interests, and opinions on ‘kawaii’ culture. The data collected over the course of 12 days was incredibly meaningful to Masuda and led to plenty of new discoveries about the community as a whole.
Masuda explains that each country has different types of ‘kawaii,’ and that the aesthetic is expressed in different ways around the world. One country may have people influenced mainly by ‘kawaii’ expressions in anime and manga, while another expresses it through fashion or music. ‘Kawaii’ is diverse, just as people are diverse.
Sebastian Masuda has also held a Zoom meeting with people in ‘kawaii’ communities around the globe to discover how they became involved with the aesthetic initially, while also asking how it inspired them and gave them strength during these difficult times. Certain people claimed that ‘kawaii’ helped them in their personal growth, while others say it has brought out some of their potential in new and unexpected ways. While Masuda’s artwork may simply seem visual, ‘kawaii’ has become a tool for new communication and personal healing and growth. Some may even call it a kind of therapy: a place where people can surround themselves with color and joy to heal from the difficulties of life. The bold colors of the ‘kawaii’ movement can inspire people to be bold in their daily lives. Individuality should be celebrated and self-confidence should reign supreme–that is yet another message of the ‘kawaii’ movement.
Many people involved in the Zoom call had never met, and after the initial meeting, the room was left open to give people a place to communicate. Afterward, the ‘kawaii’ circle only became bigger, with a Facebook group bringing together more and more members of the community.
The research done during the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic has given ‘kawaii’ lovers a reason to think deeply on how to overcome the many struggles born from the ‘new normal,’ and these forums are perfect places to share colorful messages of hope and strength.
Inspired by Masuda’s own struggles during his time in Manhatten in 2013, Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare- is on display at Kanda Myojin. The installation has previously appeared in locations around the world including New York City, Milan, and Amsterdam. This time, the exhibit was inspired by ‘muro,’ a basement room in Omotesando where amazake is fermented. The room was used as an air-raid shelter during the war, and walking along the dimly-lit path leading to Masuda’s brightly-colored room, it’s hard not to wish that those evacuees could have been surrounded by these beautiful colors instead of pitch darkness.
It is no exaggeration to say that this is Masuda’s representative work. Created in the midst of the artist’s own struggles, it has helped establish the philosophy of ‘kawaii’ culture and continues to help those dealing with their own problems.
The Time After Time Capsule Art Project, starting in 2014 and held in 12 cities around the world, is a massive time capsule filled with messages and wishes for the future. Shaped like the beloved Sanrio character Hello Kitty, the capsule is gradually changing color as it becomes heavier and heavier with wishes for peace and happiness from fans around the world. Originally planned to be exhibited at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, this couldn’t come to fruition due to the current pandemic. This is the first time it is being shown in Japan.
The WORLD TIME CLOCK, a once-famous landmark of Harajuku, has also been recreated and installed within Kanda Myojin.
‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ at Kanda Myojin is a deeply emotional, personal, and inspiring exhibition allowing visitors to experience firsthand how ‘kawaii’ culture is capturing the hearts of people around the world. Sebastian Masuda isn’t slowing down any time soon, and his works will continue to heal people and bring joy for many years to come.
Sebastian Masuda’s solo exhibition ‘Primal Pop’ will be held at Roppongi Hills A/D Gallery from December 11, 2021, until January 10, 2022.
TEXT：Natalie（MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON）
YES, KAWAII IS ART at Kanda Myojin Shrine
Running until December 12, 2021
Location: Kanda Myojin Shrine
Running: December 11, 2021 – January 10, 2022
Location: Roppongi Hills A/D Gallery
Artist Auto Moai Holds Limited-Time Exhibition at Seibu Ikebukuro
Auto Moai, known for creating evocative works of faceless people, is making an appearance at the Seibu Ikebukuro main store from December 9 to December 14, 2021! A limited-time exhibition will welcome guests to peruse the creator’s works, and certain items will be on sale to the general public. There will also be an 8-meter-long piece of art at the venue! Seibu and Sogo are using the work of Auto Moai for their 2021 Christmas promotion, and the artist’s works will be featured on wrapping paper and gift bags.
Jointly, the Creators on Demand event will also be held at the Seibu Ikebukuro main store. This event was designed by artists and creators from a number of different fields to make art more accessible and enjoyable to the public. Merchandise will also be available at the venue.
Auto Moai CHRISTMAS EXHIBITION 2021
Running: December 9 – December 14, 2021
Location: Seibu Ikebukuro Main Store 7F Event Hall
Official Site: https://www.sogo-seibu.jp/christmas/#artist
Creators on Demand Auto Moai x SEIBU SOGO
Running: December 8 – December 25, 2021
Reception: Seibu Ikebukuro Main Store 3F Women’s Section / Seibu/Sogo Shopping Site
(7F Event Hall will only hold exhibition)
Naoki Onogawa Museum of Art in Kagawa Prefecture Holds Folklore Exhibition
The Yokai Art Museum, which often works with local artists and community organizers in the ‘maze town’ of Shodoshima in Kagawa Prefecture, is currently holding the ‘Folklore Exhibition’ at the Naoki Onogawa Museum of Art. Six new works inspired by the Setouchi region are on display until December 26, 2021.
Naoki Onogawa creates incredible sculptures made from tiny origami cranes that are folded one by one using only 1cm paper–and they’re made without tweezers! After experiencing the Tohoku Earthquake in 2011 when he was a student, he visited Rikuzentakata City in Iwate Prefecture a year after the disaster. Shocked and deeply impacted by what he saw, he began making origami cranes. The way he utilizes cranes is not as the traditional symbol of peace, but as solemn prayers to encase his feelings that have no other outlet. His works have a delicate and mysterious beauty that pulls in visitors and makes them think about the meaning of life itself.
His new works, six of which were inspired by the Setouchi area, were on display at the Setouchi Municipal Museum of Art from March 9 to May 5, 2021.
My History with Paper Cranes | A Message from Naoki Onogawa
“Origami was my passion when I was a child. The origami crane is one of the most famous forms of traditional origami, and as I spent time making them, I started to feel that I could channel my emotions into them. It started to become a habit, then an obsession. I couldn’t stop. There was no endpoint or goal in mind, I just made them as often as I could.
In 2011, the Tohoku Earthquake happened. In April of the following year, I visited Rikuzentakata City to listen to the community’s stories and to see the devastation firsthand. It was terrifying to see how helpless human beings are in the face of nature, but even still, I was struck by how strong human beings could be to persevere. No matter our age, race, gender, or status, we all face the major threats of nature, while also living in harmony with it. At that time, I was very aware that it was important to live in the moment. Beside a school building that had been totally destroyed by the tsunami, I saw a thousand paper cranes.
It was akin to a solitary ritual. The paper cranes were used to express those feelings that had nowhere else to go and to pray for those who had been lost. I can’t really put it into words, but the cranes I make now might have come from those solemn prayers. This is the place for my cranes now. When I look at them now, I think that origami cranes are incredibly precious, and hide something mysterious within them. They are the ultimate beauty in my mind.
Each of us has our own personal journey with these paper cranes. It’s up to each person to decide how he or she feels and how his or her thoughts are layered. I just hope that while looking at these works people will find their hearts moved.”
Naoki Onogawa Folklore Exhibition
Address: Naoki Onogawa Museum of Art (289-33 Aza-Higashi-Motohama Kou, Tonosho, Shode-gun, Kagawa)
Running: November 26 – December 26, 2021
Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Entry at 17:00) *Closed Wednesdays
Adults: ¥1,500 / Middle School Students: ¥750 / Elementary School Children and Younger: Free
Official Site: http://shl-olive.co.jp/
Art Project ART BASE ZERO next Highlights Up-and-Coming Artist CHRIS
The Human Miracle Company launched ART BASE ZERO next in October 2021 to highlight up-and-coming artists. Inspired by 90s street culture in Tokyo, their new exhibition with CHRIS, whose works are made using a decollage technique, will open at Tokyo Hinode Pier from December 4 until December 26, 2021.
CHRIS is a contemporary artist inspired by Tokyo street culture of the 90s. He uses the decollage technique, which utilizes cutting, tearing and removing pieces of an original image. At first glance, his style seems to be normal paintings, when in fact he uses pasting and forming printed materials to express them in new three-dimensional ways. To get this effect, he shapes them over and over again over a long period of time. In addition to participating in domestic and international art fairs and holding solo exhibitions, CHRIS has collaborated with fashion brands such as Columbia, GOD SELECTION XXX, GUESS, atmos, and more.
CHRIS x Hi-NODE Exhibition “Love is a battlefield (It’s hard to see Love)”
Running: December 4 – December 26, 2021
Address: Hi-NODE, Tokyo Hinode Pier (2-7-103 Kaigan, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Official Instagram: @artbasezero_next
Online Shop: Open to the public starting at 9:00 AM on December 4
Online Shop/Official Site: https://www.thehumanmiracle.com
Gundam World Contrast Touring Event Starts at Nagoya PARCO
Nagoya PARCO will host the Gundam World Contrast event from December 24, 2021 until January 16, 2022. The event will feature a deep-dive of Mobile Suit Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED from various perspectives and will show the contrasts between the two popular series. The event will then travel nationwide after finishing in Nagoya.
Plastic Model for Advanced Ticket Holders
Bonus: Gundam World Contrast Limited Design Special Promo Card
Special Photo Spot
Exhibition of Katsumi Kawaguchi’s Contrast Diorama
Only at Gundam World Contrast
MG 1/100 RX-78-2 Gundam Ver 3.0 (Event Exclusive)
1/100 Aile Strike Gundam Ver.RM (Event Exclusive)
ENTRY GRADE 1/144 Strike Gundam (Event Presale)
Clear Folder (Set of 2, Gundam World Contrast Exclusive)
Pop Socket (Gundam World Contrast Exclusive)
Acrylic Stand (10 varieties, Gundam World Contrast Exclusive)
Choco Crunch (Gundam World Contrast Exclusive)
Mug (Gundam World Contrast Exclusive)
Visitors can enjoy the exhibition corner, which shows the history of both works including famous scenes and the emotional growth of the main characters. The merchandise corner will feature a number of goods only available at the event including Gunpla. Fans of the franchise shouldn’t miss this, as visitors will get a promo card to use for Bandai’s latest arcade card game Mobile Suit Gundam Arsenal Base, scheduled to release in spring 2021.
Sakura Wars Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Events in Tokyo, Osaka, and Aichi
To celebrate 25 years of the franchise, a special Sakura Wars event is coming to three major Japanese cities in December and January! The Sakura Wars Art Festival 2021 will feature original artwork and newly-drawn prints by Hidenori Matsubara, the character designer for the 2000 Sakura Wars anime series. Original goods and lithographs will also be on sale at each event. At the Tokyo venue, a special talk show will be held with the voice actors of the Sakura Wars series. Most exhibited works will be available for purchase.
Sakura Wars 25th Anniversary Logo – Colored
Sakura Wars 25th Anniversary Logo – Black and White
Ai ga Kaoru Koro ni
Kimi yo Hana yo
Are you a Sakura Wars fan?
Sakura Wars Art Festival 2021
Address: Gallery epi cute, Sotokanda Stork Bldg. 6F (6-15-14 Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo)
Dates: December 23 – December 29, 2021
Official Site: https://sakura-taisen.com
Sakura Wars Art Festival 2021 Plus
Address: Breeze Plaza 8F 801・802 (2-4-9 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka)
Dates: January 7 – January 10, 2022
January 7: 14:00-19:00
January 8: 11:00-19:00
January 9: 11:00-19:00
January 10: 11:00-17:00
Address: Winc Aichi 6F 602・603 (4-4-38 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya)
Dates: January 21 – January 23, 2022
A Sneak Peek at Sebastian Masuda’s ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ Exhibition at Kanda Myojin Shrine
The Godfather of Kawaii Sebastian Masuda will open his ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ exhibition at the 1,300-year-old Kanda Myojin Shrine on December 4, 2021. A number of Masuda’s representative works will be on display at the historical site, known as one of the most important shrines during the Edo period.
Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare-
Kanda Myojin Shrine
Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare- has been shown in New York, Milan, and Amsterdam over the past few years, and will now make an appearance as part of this exhibition. Given the magnificence of the venue, the work will be presented in a unique way–in the basement of the shrine. In addition, a part of the research on Kawaii culture conducted in collaboration with Kyoto University of Arts Ultra Factory will be on display as well. Guests will be invited to ponder the nature of Kawaii, and what makes it so beloved by audiences worldwide.
Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK-
Time After Time Capsule Art Project
Kawaii Archival Research
Near the entrance to the shrine, the Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK will be on display. Clad in the cutest colors imaginable, it has become a symbol of Harajuku around the world. The Hello Kitty-shaped time capsule, which was on display for five months in New York City in 2015, will also be shown on the temple grounds. The participatory art project has made it to 12 cities around the world so far.
Kawaii culture will blend with traditional Japanese culture during this exhibition, so keep an eye out for more details coming soon!
What is ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art?’
Sebastian Masuda has been at the helm of the global Kawaii movement for decades.
In 2020, Masuda asked a number of questions to fans of Japanese pop culture around the world–what is Kawaii? Why does Kawaii cross borders, generations, and gender? This new exhibition tries to find an answer to those questions while bringing some joy and excitement to the local community.
Sebastian Masuda Exhibition ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ at Kanda Myojin Shrine
Dates: December 4 – December 12, 2021
Hours: 12:00-18:00 (Last Entry at 17:30)
Address: Kanda Myojin Shrine (2-16-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
Admission: Free (¥500 for Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare-)
For more details on the event, follow Sebastian Masuda’s Twitter:
Art Group Mirrorbowler to Hold Mindblowing Exhibition at Shinsaibashi PARCO
Mirrorbowler will hold their first large-scale indoor solo exhibition at Shinsaibashi PARCO in Osaka from December 19, 2021, until February 13, 2022.
Along with some truly massive pieces of artwork, the artists behind the creations will also hold workshops and release limited-edition goods at the venue to commemorate the event. Mirrorbowler is known for their expert use of light and reflection, and have participated in creating artwork for outdoor events, fashion shows, and CD jackets in the past.
Beginner Origami Art (Star)
Intermediate Origami Art (Sphere)
Mirrorbowler 2022 Calendar
Mirrorbowler Journey to the Stars Mirror
Mirror Ball Caricature Book
The theme for the exhibition is “to create something that does not exist anywhere, that has no proper name, that will never be the same twice, and that will never look the same to different people.”
Mirrorbowler’s work features light and shadow as central themes, and guests are invited to look beyond what is in front of their eyes to find something deeper and more hidden. This imagery will be blended with sounds, scents, and hidden items just asking to be found.
While there is no set route to experience the exhibition, the creators hope visitors will wander back in forth to see things from different angles. Tickets are available to preorder now, so don’t miss this memorable event!
Mirrorbowler Journey to the Stars – PLANET OF MIRRORBOWLER by ELEMENTS
Running: December 19, 2021 – February 13, 2022
Location: Shinsaibashi PARCO 14F PARCO Event Hall
Official Site: http://www.parco.co.jp
Available for direct purchase at FamiPort in FamilyMart stores.
Lawson Ticket: https://l-tike.com/mirrorbowler
Tickets can also be purchased from Loppi at Lawson or Ministop stores.
L Code: 59200 (For Admission from 12/19 – 1/16) / 59300 (For Admission from 1/17-2/13)
DANDELION PROJECT Comes to Kosho-ji Temple in Uji, Kyoto for Limited Time
NAKED’S DANDELION PROJECT has popped up at seven different locations around Kyoto, including the famous Kiyomizu-dera and Heian Shrine. From December 3 until December 5, the participatory art project for peace will come to Kosho-ji Temple at nighttime.
Kosho-ji Temple is famous for its autumn foliage and is designated as a place of scenic beauty by Kyoto prefecture. The gently sloping path from the front gate along the Uji River to the temple gate is called Kotozaka, because the flowing freshwater sounds like a Koto, the national instrument of Japan. The event will include a nighttime viewing of the temple along with lights around the grounds and gardens. The Uji Light Path will line the streets of the town with lanterns based on The Tale of Genji.
NAKED’s popular attractions–the NAKED Distanced Lanterns and NAKED Flower Cleansing–will also be available to participate in during the event.
DANDELION PROJECT in Uji, Kyoto
Address: Kosho-ji Temple (27 Yamada, Uji, Kyoto)
Running: December 3 – December 5, 2021
Hours: 17:30-20:00 (Last Entry at 19:00)
Official Site: https://naked.co.jp
Hotel Koe Tokyo in Shibuya to Hold Solo Exhibition by Illustrator Kae Tanaka
Kae Tanaka will hold a solo exhibition at Hotel Koe Tokyo in Shibuya from November 26 until December 10, 2021. The artist has recently collaborated with popular girls group Nogizaka46 and actress Rio Uchida, and is skyrocketing in popularity throughout Japan.
Kae-chan Soft Vinyl Figures in Limited-Edition Color (By Lottery)
Over the past year, Hotel Koe Tokyo has been supporting the solo exhibitions of up-and-coming artists. This ima no koe (The Voices of Today) initiative is helping to highlight local talent that may otherwise be overlooked.
Kae Tanaka is a Tumblr-based illustrator who has garnered large amounts of attention across social media. Collaborative goods created in conjunction with the hotel will be available, all of which are unisex and created by the French brand Le Pigeon Voyageur. A special Kae-chan vinyl figure will be available by lottery.
Kae Tanaka Exhibition ‘Select’
Running: November 26 – December 10, 2021
Location: Hotel Koe Tokyo 1F ‘koe space’ (3-7 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo)
Massive Life of Hamster Sukeroku Exhibition to Open at Nagoya PARCO
26.November.2021 | SPOT
A huge exhibition featuring artwork and goods from Life of Hamster Sukeroku is coming to Nagoya PARCO from December 3 until December 20, 2021. The series is popular throughout Asia, and this exhibition is set to be the largest ever showing of related goods.
Exhibition of Original Artwork
Reproduction of Sukeroku’s Room
Entrance Bonus: Art Card
Purchase Bonus: Sticker
Merchandise Available at Nagoya Venue
Block Memo Pad
This will be the first major Hamster Sukeroku exhibition held in Japan. The hilarious and relatable series is drawn by illustrator GOTTE, who has become incredibly popular across social media. Over 300 pieces of art will be on display, including pieces drawn exclusively for the event. Guests can visit Sukeroku’s room and can see videos of the artist at work. The venue’s store will be selling a number of adorable hamster goods, with a limited number of reproduction paintings on sale.
Life of Hamster Sukeroku
Running: December 3 – December 20, 2021
Location: Nagoya PARCO South Building 7F Event Space
General Admission: ¥500 / Students: ¥400 *Free for pre-schoolers
Official Site: https://nagoya.parco.jp/
A Tachikoma From Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045 Arrives at New Balance Harajuku
As a part of the brand’s 9BOX series, New Balance has released a new graphic T-shirt collection in collaboration with Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045. The items went on sale November 12, and to commemorate the release, a Tachikoma from the series has arrived at New Balance Harajuku! For those who may not have seen the series, a Tachikoma is an AI tank prominently featured in the Ghost in the Shell universe.
Long Sleeve T-Shirt
Motoko Kusanagi, the main character of the series, perfectly exemplifies the New Balance brand, which promotes ‘fearless independence.’ Five new t-shirt designs are now available, all drawn by Ilya Kuvshinov, the character designer for Ghost in the Shell SAC-2045. The collection is available at official New Balance stores nationwide, as well as the online store and participating ABC Marts. Those who purchase items from the collection will receive a collaboration sticker, and a special picture frame will be available on the New Balance official store app NB Shop.
New Balance’s flagship store in Harajuku is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year and was the backdrop for the cover of Rolling Stone Japan to promote the collaboration. Fans of the anime series shouldn’t miss out on these stylish threads!
Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045 x New Balance
On Display from November 20 – December 2, 2021
Location: New Balance Harajuku
Collab Details/Store: https://shop.newbalance.jp/shop/e/eEnb-app-9boxgits