“POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft” Makes its US Debut
LOS ANGELES – July 25, 2023 – JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles is pleased to announce the opening of “POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft,” the new exhibition making its U.S. debut today. One of the world’s biggest entertainment franchises and Japanese craft artistry and techniques, both contemporary and refined over centuries, come together in this exhibition featuring over 70 works created by 20 renowned Japanese artists using their skills and ever-evolving craft techniques to creatively channel the world of the globally popular Pokémon brand. While the exhibition is on view through January 7, 2024, certain artworks will be switched during the exhibition’s run, giving attendees an opportunity to view new artwork on return visits.
In celebration of the exhibition, a limited edition Official Exhibition Book (published by Tokyo Bijutsu) will be available for purchase (Price: $48) at JAPAN HOUSE’s WAZA Shop and online, while supplies last. In addition, The Pokémon Plush: Pokémon x Kougeiten Craft Exhibition – Pikachu, created in collaboration with the original exhibition, will be available for the first time outside of Japan beginning today at Pokémon Center in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
Additionally, to commemorate the opening JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles will host a special complimentary talk program with Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company, and Masahiro Karasawa, director of Japan’s National Crafts Museum on opening day, July 25 from 5:00 – 6:15 p.m. (PDT). This enlightening evening will broaden attendees’ perspective on the rich world of Japanese craft opened up by the epic battles between Pokémon and kogei. Conversations will touch upon the genesis of the exhibition and The Pokémon Company President Ishihara’s reverence for and desire to spotlight kogei, as well as the stories behind the exceptional artists and artworks as Director Karasawa shares his unique knowledge and perspectives on the collection.
“The talented artists behind the POKÉMON X KOGEI exhibit bring the Pokémon world to life in a never-before-seen way while honoring traditional Japanese artistry in each piece,” said Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company. “Our collaboration with JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles offers a unique platform to celebrate Japanese culture, as well as the artists, for fans of both the Pokémon brand and art. We’re honored to have the Pokémon brand be featured in this way and leverage its modern-day popularity to share the incredible legacy of Japanese craft with new audiences in the US.”
Opening to great acclaim at National Crafts Museum earlier this year, the exhibition showcases celebrated artists ranging from Japan’s living national treasure and metal artist Morihito Katsura, to exciting young artists like sculptor Taiichiro Yoshida. Ingenious creations include playful images of Pikachu, Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio stencil-dyed onto silk cloth, Charizard integrated into a large ceramic jar, and a dazzling Jolteon made from copper plates hammered into the shape of lightning bolts and then plated with gold and silver.
“This unique collaboration answer the question, ‘What happens when Pokémon meets kogei?’ for art enthusiasts and gamers alike,” said Yuko Kaifu, president, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles. “We’re excited to present this unique collaboration with exceptional artists and artworks showcasing the rich world of Japanese craft through the global phenomenon of Pokémon appreciated by all ages around the world.”
The original Pokémon games, Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green launched in Japan in 1996 where their popularity quickly grew. Following tremendous success in Japan, the original games were released within a couple of years in the U.S. and the franchise expanded rapidly, remaining at the forefront of popular culture to this day. New generations of Pokémon games were launched over the years, as well as the popular Pokémon Trading Card Game, animated TV shows, movies, mobile games, toys, clothing, and other merchandise.
Complimentary exhibition tickets can now be reserved through JAPAN HOUSE’s online reservation system for Tuesday, July 25 – Thursday, August 31. Reservations for the remainder of the exhibition’s run will be released on the first day of the prior month (e.g., Tuesday, August 1 for September reservations). Guests can register for themselves plus five additional guests. Walk-ins are welcome as space allows and the gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Mon. – Fri.) and 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Sat. – Sun.).
The exhibition will also include related programs throughout the duration of the exhibition from July 2023 – January 2024. For more information, visit the JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles website and social channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Media sponsors for the exhibition are KCRW and LAist; promotional partners include Animation is Film Festival 2023 and Starbucks.
ABOUT JAPAN HOUSE
JAPAN HOUSE is an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs – London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo – conceived by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. It seeks to nurture a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japan in the international community. Occupying two floors at Ovation Hollywood (formerly Hollywood & Highland), JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles offers a place of new discovery that transcends physical and conceptual boundaries creating experiences that reflect the best of Japan through its spaces and diverse programs.
Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and is responsible for brand management, licensing and marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment, and the official Pokémon website. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 and today is one of the most popular entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit https://www.pokemon.com/.