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Monday, October 20, 2014

Museum Review: Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty @ The Japanese American Museum, Los Angeles, CA.

A larger than human Hello Kitty Pharaoh is the exit piece at the new museum exhibition, Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty at the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles, CA between October 11th, 2014 and April 26th, 2015.


Museum Review:
Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty
 @ The Japanese American Museum, Los Angeles, CA.
October 11th, 2014 to April 26th, 2015
(OFFICIAL SITE)

Hello Kitty has her own cat, on display at the museum exhibit Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty at the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles, CA.


  You don't have to be a dedicated Hello! Kitty fan to dig Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty, now on exhibit at The Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles, CA; but you do need twenty bucks a person for admission.  For your twenty bucks you get an intense two level experience.  The bottom floor has a wide selection of Hello Kitty material from 40 years of Kitty, accompanied by some extremely mind blowing explantory text that reveals that Hello Kitty is NOT a cat, but rather a small girl, with a family (including a twin sister) and that she lives outside London, England.  She also has a pet cat, and the pet cat has a pet hamster AND OH MY GOD IT IS SO MIND BLOWING.
The infamous Hello Kitty vibrators, bravely on display as part of the museum exhibition, Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty at The Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles, CA.

   After the introduction to the family and back story, there is a room with some of the more industrial items: the Hello Kitty Humidifier, waffle maker, robot vacuum cleaner, and an actual "life size" talking robot.   There is a whole wall of Hello Kitty backpacks, and then a room dedicated to the roots revival of Hello Kitty wherein Sanrio started putting Kitty in more traditionally Japanese setting.

  Upstairs features a gallery of contemporary fine artists and their own take on the Hello Kitty look.  This section also includes some celebrity worn apparel and an enormous statue of Hello Kitty as an Egyptian Pharaoh (above.)  I wasn't overly impressed by the upstairs work, but I did appreciate the attempt to present Hello Kitty in an "adult" context in some of the works, and the display with the "adult" Hello Kitty products (including a Hello Kitty Hooters keyring and the INFAMOUS Hello Kitty vibrator.)

  If you are a non-obsessive looking for a reason to go, think about the relevance of Hello Kitty fan culture as a precursor to the "shipping" culture of the internet and the wider world of pop culture and 20th century international cultural transmission across continents.

  

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