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Sebastian Masuda: “Yes, Kawaii is Art - Express Yourself.”

Japan House Los Angeles brings together artworks showcasing kawaii concepts and Sebastian Masuda’s personal story.

May 2 - November 3, 2024

artist Sebastian Masuda standing in a colorful exhibit of kawaii

JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles is partnering with multi-disciplinary artist and “King of Kawaii” Sebastian Masuda on its upcoming exhibition “Yes, KAWAII is Art -EXPRESS YOURSELF-”.

The term kawaii 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, on display May 2–November 3, 2024, is the first to include multiple Masuda artworks that unravel kawaii concepts while introducing his personal story of sharing kawaii with the world.

Highlights 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 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 whats unique about themselves and contemplate how to navigate the social and personal challenges of the future. I would be delighted if exploring these diverse perspectives could become a hint for living into tomorrow,” says 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.”

For more information, visit JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles.


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