Forty years ago, designer Yuko Shimizu created everyone’s favorite Japanese bobtail cat (or is she a British girl?!), Hello Kitty, for the Sanrio Company. Though she hasn’t aged a bit, the fabulous feline turns 40 this year. In honor of this paw-some occasion, artists from around the world are celebrating the cool cat.
Curated by Christine Yano, author of Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific and Jamie Rivadeneira, owner of the Los Angeles boutique JapanLA, Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty at The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles is the first large scale Hello Kitty museum retrospective in the United States. The exhibition features rare items from the Sanrio archives, as well as Hello Kitty inspired art. The show is on view from October 11, 2014 through April 26, 2015 and features Worship the Brand’s Artist in Residence Jonathan Stein alongside a plethora of talented contemporary artists.
Gary Baseman’s painting Playdate presents the Sanrio icon alongside his own fictional characters Toby, Chou, and Ahwroo.
Simone Legno of Japanese-inspired lifestyle brand tokidoki designed this ten-foot sculpture, Kittypatra.
Also in L.A., The Geffen Contemporary at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) presents Hello Kitty Con, a gathering of fans and friends that celebrates all things Hello Kitty October 30, 2014 through November 2, 2014. The convention includes panel discussions, parties, food, tattoos, and limited edition prints. Artists Camilla D’Errico, Esther Kim, Dabs Myla, and Martin Hsu will be teaching Hello Kitty Art Classes and Masako Kojima, author of Hello Kitty Nail Art will offer fans the chance to Hello Kitty-fy their own nails. Check out the schedule- there’s so much to do! http://www.sanrio.com/hellokittycon-eventinfo/
Photo of Jonathan Stein courtesy of Valerie Macon/Japanese American National Museum