Kawaii (it means “cute” in Japanese) is one of Japan’s major art culture and the movement has evolved and since accepted worldwide. Although in some countries, the idea of lugging around a bag with many little cute mascot plush toys hanging on the bag maybe a little odd and make heads turn, it is no doubt that one would be gifted with the happiness that comes with it, just by looking at it.
The colourful world of Kawaii-ness began with contemporary visual artist Sebastian Masuda, who is recognized by his imaginative artworks and signature designs which are strikingly vivid and often over-the-top.
After successfully launching his brand 6%DOKIDOKI, introducing the “Sensational Kawaii” movement and the “Harajuku Kawaii Experience” to the world, he takes on a new project: The TIME AFTER TIME CAPSULE project, and invites people around the world to contribute something that would be revealed in 20 years’ time.
Premiered in 2014 at the art Basel Miami and jointly hosted by NHK World, The TIME AFTER TIME CAPSULE project has travelled around the world – London, Paris, New York collecting thousands of letters and objects from people. The project aimed to demonstrate how Kawaii can be a tool to bring people together and represent shared cultures, memories and feelings that transcend age, gender, religion or nationality.
In Singapore, Masuda held workshops at the Anime Festival Asia to collaborate with public to create our own Kawaii-inspired messages for the future, creating our own Kawaii objects which would be added into the time capsule – in the shape of NHK mascot, Domo.
Domo will then continue to travel around the world collecting more public artwork and of course will be back in Tokyo for the next Olympics (in 2020!).
I was happy to be invited to this event to contribute a little handiwork for my own in this journey with DOMO!
While I cannot really remember what I wrote on the little slip of paper which I had later folded into a crane, but I vaguely recalled it’s more of a wish for Singapore in 20 years’ time.
I chose to fold my slip of paper into a crane as it is a symbol of peace and harmony. Using available craft materials, I continue to create additional meaning to my own masterpiece. I picked out a flower a symbol of Earth and greenery, also a reminder of a blooming and beautiful world. Three felt hearts symbolizing the past, present and future. Last but not least, I chose nine little pompom balls to symbolize our galaxy, as a reminder that we are all one united people living on one planet in the vast universe.
Don’t you think my little masterpiece looks adorable?? My little crane is all ready to fly out into the world to bring happiness and peace! I personally love cute things not only because they are adorable, most importantly it brings me happy!
It was a fun time creating something with the instructions from the maestro and definitely an event to look forward to in revelation in 20 years’ time!
To see more of Masuda’s art directive in action, watch Kawaii International, a NHK World TV’s monthly show capturing essence of Tokyo’s vibrant pop culture, exploring everything from street fashion to art and design.
This monthly program airs on Starhub Channel 812 or Singtel Channel 157 on last Saturday of each month, 12:10/19:10 and Sunday 00:10/6:10 in Singapore.
Thank you Huntington Communications and NHK World for this invitation and the pictures!