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Playful images of Pikachu, Rowlet, Litten and Popplio stencil-dyed onto silk cloth, a Charizard integrated into a large ceramic jar and a dazzling Jolteon sculpted from individual pieces of gold-and silver-plated copper hammered into the shape of lightning bolts - these are some of the ingenious creations in POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft, the new exhibition at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles. The exhibition brings together two of Japan’s most celebrated contributions to world culture - beloved characters from one of the world’s biggest entertainment franchises and craft that has evolved and been refined over centuries.
Exhibition features over 70 works of varying materials and diverse techniques created by twenty of Japan’s most accomplished craft artists.
Discover a captivating fusion of Pokémon and traditional Japanese craft at the POKÉMON X KOGEI exhibition in JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles. Showcasing over 70 ingenious creations by Japan's skilled craft artists, the exhibition features playful images of beloved Pokémon characters intricately integrated into silk cloth, ceramics, and metalwork. Supervised by the National Crafts Museum in Kanazawa and supported by The Pokémon Company, the exhibit explores the connection between Pokémon's diverse creatures and Japan's crafts, both relying on elements like grass, fire, water, earth, and metal. Don't miss this free exhibition, celebrating the artistic legacy of Pokémon and Japanese culture.
July 25 - Jan 7, 2024
Mon-Fri: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm (PDT)
Sat-Sun: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm (PDT)
JAPAN HOUSE Gallery, Level 2
The exhibition presents three main sections showcasing the playful encounter between Pokémon and craft artists
• "Appearance" section: Craft artists depict Pokémon forms, skin, fur, gestures, and expressions in three-dimensional works. Metal artist Taiichiro Yoshida recreates Eevee and its evolutions using copper plates and unique coloring techniques.
• "Stories" section: Textile designer Reiko Sudo's installation, "Pikachu Forest," immerses the audience in a magical world with distinct Pikachu designs, inviting them to explore the imaginative journeys and lives of Pokémon.
• "Life" section: Ceramic artist Keiko Masumoto fuses Pokémon and vessels in her Shigaraki ware vases, creating an inspired blend of fantasy and reality, enriching contemporary life by incorporating Pokémon into crafts.
Supervised by the National Crafts Museum in Kanazawa, Japan, with special support from The Pokémon Company, the exhibition features over 70 works of varying materials and diverse techniques created by twenty of Japan’s most accomplished craft artists, ranging from a Living National Treasure, the metal artist Morihito Katsura (b.1944), to exciting young artists like Taiichiro Yoshida (b.1989), also a metal artist. The artists were challenged with the task of using their skills and ever-evolving techniques - in lacquer, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, and other media - to creatively channel the world of the globally popular Pokémon brand.
The original Pokémon games were developed by GAME FREAK and published by Nintendo in 1996 for its Game Boy console. A tremendous success in Japan, the original games were released within a couple of years in the US and expanded rapidly, with new generations of Pokémon games being launched over the years, as well as trading cards, animated tv shows, movies and all sorts of toys, clothing, and other merchandise. Pokémon maintained its position as a leading entertainment brand, but re-entered the global spotlight again in 2016 with the mobile game Pokémon GO, which has been downloaded more than 1 billion times since its launch. The various Pokémon in the game, like the Electric-type Pikachu and the Fire/Flying-type Charizard, are fantastic creatures with characteristics resembling real-world plants, animals, minerals etc. and each possessing special powers that can be used in battle against each other. In the game, players collect and train Pokémon during their adventures, trading them with other players and battling their Pokémon against one another.
At first thought, there does not seem to be much in common between Pokémon and Japanese craft, yet there is an elemental connection between the two worlds. Just as there are distinct Pokémon types - Grass, Fire, Water, Ground, Steel, Electric, and more - most of Japan’s principal crafts are created using grass, fire, water, earth, or metal, with contemporary fabrication facilitated by electricity. In Japanese ceramics, for example, clay is mined from the earth, mixed with water, and then formed often with the help of an electric potter’s wheel, decorated with mineral and metal oxide pigments, and baked with fire in a kiln. In addition, within the world of Pokémon, players are expected to hone their skills, nurture their Pokémon, and collect these creatures, just as artists train hard developing their craft and art enthusiasts and museums avidly collect their works.
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Wednesday, 27 December, 2023
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