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Events - 11.15.2023

Artist Talk 3 | Pokémon & Japanese Craftsmanship - From Inspiration to Creation

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

11.15.2023 (Wed.)


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





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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.

In the final installment of the artist talk series for the POKÉMON X KOGEI exhibition, two artists who closely studied and the physical structure of Pokémon will share their processes and techniques. Haruo Mitsuta’s articulated metal figurines enabled deep exploration of the anatomy and movement of Pokémon represented in his works, while Yuki Tsuboshima’s transformable ornaments twist their form (and the viewer’s minds) in their physical transformation between different Pokémon. In this webinar, viewers will not only see these artists’ creative processes and techniques, but also the movement and internal structures of their creations in ways that are not visible in the exhibition display.

About the Speakers

Photo by Tadasu Yamamoto

Haruo Mitsuta
Born 1980, Tottori Prefecture

Articulated metal figurines have animals as their theme. In addition to being highly realistic, they are distinctive in that their parts can be moved freely, just like actual animals' bodies. Haruo Mitsuta is the leading articulated figurine artist carrying on the extremely rare technique today.

His usual process would be to follow sketching by measuring and dissecting the creature he has chosen, but Pokémon live in a different world ...

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from our reality. "However, I can ponder them there." In between his impression of the subject and the logic of the craft, Mitsuta "goes after the perfect balance." His thoughts broaden, wondering if the craftsmen of the past who tackled subjects such as dragons and shachi (a mythical animal with the head of a lion and the body of a fish), which are part of the articulated figure tradition, worked in the same way. In this exhibition, he created "Gyarados, as an articulated figurine, as a Mitsuta dragon." The whiskers were a problem, but he concluded that it wouldn't have been cool to have them dangling down from a movable joint. "Actually, in the past, dragons' whiskers did not move." Through his creative process, past and present in Mitsuta's point of view, overlap.

Yuki Tsuboshima
Born 1987, Tokyo Prefecture

A "transformable ornament" is a small metallic object that can change its form to another motif by moving its parts. Both the mechanism and the Japanese name for it were conceived by Yuki Tsuboshima himself. Here two Pokémon, Rookidee and Corviknight, are coexisting in one transformable ornament.

It was netsuke that inspired Tsuboshima to work on transformable ornaments. A netsuke* has to bear ...

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the weight of the portable object it is fastening, while swinging. And it also requires the assumption that, as an accessory worn on the body, it can be attached and removed. To avoid damage and parts getting snared on clothing, he decided that "all the fine parts should be put inside," and took up the challenge. That was the start of incorporating the form with the logic of his transformative patterns. Tsuboshima's work is of course intriguing for its intricacies, but the way that the individual parts and mechanisms need to work is also fascinating. The small body of Transformable Ornament, Rookidee/Corviknight is made of fifty-some parts. It conceals all sorts of suggestions for thinking about the craft.

* A netsuke is a type of fastener, usually a small sculpture, used when hanging a tobacco pouch or an inro (a tiered container) on a cord from the obi sash.

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 1 | Exploring Pokémon in Japanese Craft
Featuring Keiko Masumoto x
Toru Fukuda


09.12.2023 (Tue.)


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

Explore Event

This first installment of this webinar series 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.

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

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) & 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

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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