In our desire to bridge various aspects of Japanese pop culture, Waku Waku +NYC worked to celebrate the efforts of artists in New York and Japan. We hope you had the chance to see all of the wonderful artwork on display, but if you didn’t get the opportunity here’s a handy summary of all of the art-related goings-on at our event!
Time After Time Capsule
Perhaps nothing embodied the philosophy of “Play with Japan” more than our guest Sebastian Masuda. A Japanese artist that challenges the borders between fine, popular, and commercial art, Sebastian brought with him a large, adorable teddy bear sculpture as part of his “Time After Time Capsule” art project for display at Brooklyn’s Transmitter Park. Overlooking a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline, the idea behind the Time After Time Capsule is that people from around the world can write messages to place into the time capsules, which will be sealed and then re-opened for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. To help attendees create kawaii art for the capsule, Sebastian also held workshops for attendees, and artists young and old participated. Perhaps we can say that kawaii transcends generations.
The Power of Kawaii
Sebastian is also known worldwide as an ambassador of “kawaii culture,” joining Misha Janette for the panel “NHK WORLD Kawaii International: Kawaii Beyond Cute.” While kawaii fashion is often associated with an image of safety and innocence, there is also a strongly political component underlying the movement whereby “kawaii” becomes a political defiance of the status quo. An enlightening panel to say the least!
Local Artists + Mascot Contest
Art wasn’t limited to just our guests, however. In addition to our artist alley, featuring awesome artists from all over the US, Waku Waku +NYC also held a mascot drawing contest prior to the event, with the goal of giving artists the opportunity to have their work displayed at the Brooklyn Expo Center. Creating renditions of our resident mascot Tucker the dog, large banners could be seen all around, showing to Brooklyn and the world the creativity of our local artists. We’d like to thank the winners for providing some incredible and fun art, and we hope that they’ll be proud to have Waku Waku +NYC on their list of accomplishments.
Tucker of course loved the attention, and many attendees could be seen taking photos with him.
What did you think of the art at Waku Waku +NYC? Did you check out the artist alley in the Exhibitor Hall? Are there any other artists, be they gallery or otherwise, that you’d like to see? Did you take any photos with Tucker? We’d love to know!