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“Embracing Kawaii as Art: Unleash Your Creativity”

Japan House Los Angeles is currently hosting an exhibition that brings together artworks highlighting the concept of “kawaii” and shares Sebastian Masuda’s personal story. The term “kawaii” translates to “cute” or “adorable,” and the Japanese kawaii culture has grown into a global phenomenon encompassing various aspects like fashion, art, technology, and social behavior.

The colorful exhibition, running from May 2 to November 3, 2024, features multiple artworks by Masuda that delve into kawaii concepts while also delving into his personal journey of sharing kawaii with the world.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is Masuda’s “Kawaii Timeline,” created in collaboration with Kyoto University of the Arts, which traces the historical roots of kawaii culture from post-war media and shōjo manga to its evolution into a global trend in the 1990s, centered around Tokyo’s Harajuku district. Visitors can also experience an intimate and immersive room installation called “Colorful Rebellion—Seventh Nightmare—,” which immerses guests in the colors and aesthetic of kawaii.

Other pieces in the exhibition, like “Digital Tribe World Map” and “Sense Share Bear” (an interactive VR work), are inspired by the global kawaii network’s desire to connect during the COVID-19 pandemic. Masuda hopes that engaging with Japan’s pop culture and the philosophy of kawaii will encourage visitors to reflect on their uniqueness and navigate future social and personal challenges. He believes that kawaii is a personal microcosm of beloved things, untouched by external influences, and hopes that the exhibition will inspire self-expression and unlock each individual’s infinite potential.