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Events - 09.12.2023

Artist Talk 1 | Exploring Pokémon in Japanese Craft

Photos by Taku Saiki, Left: Charizard/Shigaraki Jar, 2022, Keiko Masumoto | Right: Flying, 2022, Toru Fukuda

09.12.2023 (Tue.)


05:00 PM - 06:15 PM (PDT)





Join us for a series of inspiring Artist Pairing Talks as we delve into the captivating world of the POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft exhibition. Immerse yourself in the creative brilliance of the remarkable artists who have contributed to this showcase of Japanese craftwork. The webinar series consists of three webinars, each featuring two artists.

This first installment of our series of artist talks for the POKÉMON X KOGEI exhibition invites two artists whose work is notable for the deft and detailed manner in which they explored the form and appearance of Pokémon through their craft techniques. Keiko Masumoto’s Shigaraki ware vessels and Toru Fukuda’s woodwork feature Pokémon sculpted in incredible detail utilizing the unique properties of their materials and techniques. During this webinar, each artist will share the background, process and techniques represented in their finished works.

About the Speakers

Keiko Masumoto
Born 1982, Hyogo Prefecture

"To disrupt the master-servant relationship between vessels and their decoration": This is a theme that Keiko Masumoto has been pursuing for many years. In the energetic and humorous works in the current exhibit, Pokémon appear to jump from the vessels, or are cut out of the forms of vessels.

When Masumoto was told about the concept of this exhibition, she immediately decided on Fire-type Pokémon. According to Masumoto, ...

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"It's a simplistic reason, but that's because fire is inseparable from pottery." She then began exploring the option of firing in an anagama, a type of kiln that goes back to ancient times.

This was the first time Masumoto had attempted full-scale production of Shigaraki ware.* The look and form of the ceramics can easily change depending on how it is placed in the kiln and how the firewood is thrown in. The super-heavyweight Charizard was about three times as deformed as expected, but this was connected to the power of the anagama and "shows the unique charm of this type of kiln."

* Shigaraki ware is a type of pottery made in Shiga Prefecture since the 12th century.

Toru Fukuda
Born 1994, Hokkaido Prefecture

Inlaid woodwork (mokuzogan) involves hand-cutting wood and inlaying it. Toru Fukuda began working with the technique when he was a student at an arts and crafts high school. It seemed to him that the variously colored pieces of wood could also be used for paintings, and he "felt comfortable with the repetitive, puzzle-like process" of carving a piece of wood for the body and then fitting other pieces of wood into it. After learning traditional sashimono techniques in Kyoto, he began ...

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practicing inlaid woodwork in earnest around the age of 20. While this technique is generally used for two-dimensional compositions, Fukuda has developed it as a three-dimensional art form. In After Rain, the parts patterned with wings on the Pokémon called Beautifly are carved with slightly different curvatures according to the position where they are to be fitted, infusing the thin and delicate piece with a supple sense of vitality.

Artist Talk Webinar Series

This webinar series invites you to see the artwork from the POKÉMON X KOGEI exhibition from new perspectives and reveals deep insights into the conceptual and creative processes and craft techniques of the talented practitioners who are taking Japanese craft to new heights.

Talk 2 | POKÉMON X KOGEI Artistic Journey
Featuring Taiichiro Yoshida x
Terumasa Ikeda


10.11.2023 (Wed.)


05:00 PM - 06:15 PM (PDT)

Explore Event

This webinar will feature two artists whose innovative assimilation of science and technology delivered incredible results in their craft interpretation of Pokémon.

Photos by Taku Saiki, Left: Eevee (Left) and Jolteon (Right), 2022, Taiichiro Yoshida | Right: Tea Caddy, Electric Exchange Design (Right), Tea caddy, Unown Design, Black Granite Style (Back), Poké Ball Box (Front), Ornamental Box, "Mewtwo," Luminous Design, Raden Inlay (Left), 2022, Terumasa Ikeda

Talk 3 | Pokémon and Japanese Craftsmanship
Featuring Haruo Mitsuta x
Yuki Tsuboshima


11.15.2023 (Wed.)


05:00 PM - 06:15 PM (PST)

Explore Event

In this final webinar, viewers will see these artists’ creative processes and techniques, as well as the movement and internal structures of their creations in ways that are not visible in the exhibition display.

Photos by Taku Saiki, Left: Articulated Gyarados, 2022, Haruo Mitsuta | Right: Transformable Ornament, Rookidee/Corviknight, 2022, Yuki Tsuboshima

Related Exhibition

POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft exhibition logo


POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft exhibition in JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles' main gallery

Top: ©2023 Pokémon. ©1995-2023 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.
Bottom: ©JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles


07.25.2023 (Tue.) – 01.07.2024 (Sun.)


Mon. – Fri. | 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sat. – Sun.  | 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM


JAPAN HOUSE Gallery, Level 2



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