Throughout its history, the beloved Pokemon media franchise has been involved in numerous collaborations, spanning an array of industries and captivating fans across the globe. From vibrant Pokemon-themed cafes and exclusive high-end apparel collections to food collaborations, the reach of Pokemon knows no bounds. Beyond merchandise, the franchise has even ventured into the realm of video game consoles, creating special edition Pokemon-themed devices that truly immerse fans in the world they love.
With each new collaboration, the Pokemon franchise continues to amaze and inspire, inviting fans of all ages to dive deeper into its rich lore and captivating new Pokemon. Continuing to expand their artistic horizons, The Pokemon Company has joined forces with renowned artists from Japan with diverse backgrounds in the art of Kogei (Crafts), to answer the following question, ‘‘What would happen when Pokémon meets kogei (Japanese craft)?’
Kogei, pronounced as ko-gay, is a term used in Japan to refer to the exquisite art of artisan crafts, it represents the dedication and mastery of traditional craft traditions in specific regions. Over the course of many centuries, Kogei has played a crucial role in enhancing japan’s daily lives, combining both utilitarian and aesthetic values. As time has passed, Kogei has, like Pokemon, evolved into a distinct art form using traditional methods, showcasing Japan’s exceptional diversity and artistic prowess. The profound reverence for materials, impeccable craftsmanship, and unwavering dedication are evident in numerous creations.
Under the careful curation of the National Crafts Museum in Kanazawa, Japan, and with full support of The Pokémon Company, artists crafted 70 artwork pieces using an array of materials and age-old techniques by twenty of Japan’s most skilled artisans.
POKEMON X Kogei debuted at National Crafts Museum earlier this year, and now its available in Los Angeles for all to see! The exhibition combines the elemental relationship between Pokemon and the materials used in Kogei. Similar to the various types of Pokémon such as Grass, Fire, Water, Ground (Earth), Steel (or Metal), and Electric, Koegi also incorporates these same elements with electricity added as craft has evolved in the modern times.
In homage to the mechanics of Pokemon, the exhibition is also divided into three sections; Appearance, Life and Stories, that showcase the artists’ “battle” between their craft and the Pokemon.
In the Appearance category, the artists took on the captivating task of portraying the various forms intricate details of skin or fur, lively gestures, and vivid expressions of the Pokémon.
In the Life category, artists use Pokémon into crafts used in contemporary life. These pieces often have a type of use in life.
Lastly, the Stories category, artists are tasked with weaving imaginative tales that delve into the wondrous world of Pokémon, venturing into their awe-inspiring journeys, vibrant lives, mesmerizing evolutions, and unique inherent qualities of the Pokemon games themselves.
We have hand-picked a few pieces from the exhibit’s opening night to share with you. Take a look at the photo gallery below and get a glimpse for what’s in store for you at Pokemon X Kogei exhibit. Click on the arrows to browse through the images.
The Pokemon Company CEO, Tsunekazu Ishihara and National Crafts Museum director, Masahiro Karasawa were in attendance during the exhibition’s opening night. During a panel, those who attended, received insight knowledge on the production behind the exhibit and insight the some of the art pieces and what they represented. Towards the end of the panel, I had one lingering question, “After the art tour is over, what will happen to the wonderful art pieces?” this was their response. (Please note, Audio has some echo)
Don’t miss this exciting, once in a life-time, exhibit and experience Pokemon like never before and best of all, its FREE! That’s right, make your reservations now HERE. After the exhibit, we highly recommend you purchase the Pokemon X Kogei guide book that gives readers an in-depth insight on the development of the exhibition and insight on each and every Kogei art piece. The book is in both English and Japanese and ONLY available in Japan but exclusively available for purchase at Japan House Los Angeles for this special exhibit! The exhibit is available now til January 7th, 2024 only at JAPAN HOUSE Gallery and is located at Level 2 of the Ovation Hollywood.
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