Saturday, April 13, 2024

Pokémon and Japanese Craft Traditions Unite in a Fantastic Exhibition of 70+ Works

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Art Craft Design

#animation #ceramics #games #Japan #sculpture

a closeup image of a cat-like sculpture with an open mouth and hazel eyes. the body is covered in gold metal pieces

Taiichiro Yoshida, “Jolteon.” All images courtesy of Japan House Los Angeles, shared with permission

Two of Japan’s major cultural contributions converge in POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft. On view at Japan House Los Angeles, the exhibition showcases more than 70 sculptures and installations that recreate the fantastical animated characters from Squirtle to Pikachu in ceramic, metal, fiber, and more.

Included are works by several artists featured on Colossal, including a menagerie of intricately layered creatures by Taiichiro Yoshida and Keiko Masumoto’s whimsical vessels in which heads and tails emerge from pots and plates. Similar to the natural materials used in Japanese craft like earth, water, and fire, the characters within the popular franchise are categorized by element, drawing another connection between the two.

POKÉMON X KOGEI is organized by the National Crafts Museum in Kanazawa and is on view in Los Angeles through January 7.

a ceramic jar with a deer-like character emerging from the sides

Keiko Masumoto, “Vulpix Shigaraki Jar”

three images of small ceramic creatures covered in ornate patterns

Kasumi Ueba, from left, “Grookey with Arabesque Pattern,” “Scorbunny with Flame Pattern,” and “Sobble with Water Pattern”

a small cat like sculpture covered in yellow and beige metal layers

Taiichiro Yoshida, “Eevee”

a closeup image of red metal flames cloaking the face of a cat-like animal with a bright blue eye

Taiichiro Yoshida, detail of “Flareon”

two cat like animal sculptures covered in small metal layers in gold and red

Taiichiro Yoshida, “Flareon” and “Jolteon”

a ceramic sculpture of a blue turtle-squirrel hybrid

Sadamasa Imai, “Squirtle”

a ceramic plate in blue and white with bird characters emerging from the sides

Keiko Masumoto, “Piplup Underglazed Plate”

an installation with a tunnel through dangling yellow tendrils

Reiko Sudo, “Pikachu’s Adventures in a Forest”

yellow tendrils made of pikachu-shaped pieces of fabric

Reiko Sudo, detail of “Pikachu’s Adventures in a Forest”

#animation #ceramics #games #Japan #sculpture

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