“Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty,” the Japanese American National Museum’s hit exhibition celebrating the iconic Sanrio character’s 40th anniversary, has been extended for one month and will be on view through May 31.
“Hello!” is the first large-scale museum retrospective of the pop icon in the United States. The exhibition combines an extensive product retrospective of rare and unique items from the Sanrio archives alongside a selection of innovative contemporary artworks inspired by Hello Kitty and her world.
New artifacts have recently been incorporated into the exhibition. These include miniature dioramas depicting a Hello Kitty-infused bedroom, kitchen, café, and bakery; meticulous Hello Kitty bento display models; and numerous items created over the years that explore the many ways Hello Kitty can be incorporated into one’s daily life — a broom and lint-roller set, a thermometer, a DVD player, cameras, diaries, a computer keyboard, and more.
Couture creations first featured on “America’s Next Top Model” and multiple displays exploring Hello Kitty’s role in fashion and personal expression will also be added.
The Hello Kitty Event Mobile App originally created in conjunction with the four-day Hello Kitty Convention in 2014 has also recently been updated. The free app allows users to plan their personal calendar for attending Hello Kitty public events at JANM, read speaker and artist bios, connect with other Hello Kitty fans via an activity feed of check-ins and photos, and navigate through the different Hello! exhibition areas. The app is available for download at www.Sanrio.com/HelloKittyEventApp.
Hello Kitty first emerged in America in the 1970s as a decorative motif on children’s products imported from Japan. The products were primarily distributed in areas with significant Asian populations, such as Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, where JANM is located. Over the years, the character’s popularity gradually increased, capturing the imaginations of a diverse spectrum of children and adults worldwide.
Today, Hello Kitty is a frequent celebrity accessory and subject of countless brand collaboration and artistic explorations. As her fame endures, she continues to represent a wildly successful bridge between Eastern and Western cultures.
“Hello!” was curated by Christine Yano, Ph.D., a professor of anthropology at the University of Hawaii and author of “Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific,” and Jamie Rivadeneira, founder and owner of pop culture-inspired boutique JapanLA. Rivadeneira previously curated Hello Kitty’s 35th anniversary exhibition as well as Sanrio’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Tickets for all available dates of “Hello” are on sale now. Adult admission is $20; admission for ages 6-17 is $10; children 5 and under are free. All admissions are based on timed entry and advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Tickets are available online at http://janm.org/hellokitty. JANM is located at 100 N. Central Ave. (at First Street).
“Hello!” admission also includes the museum’s ongoing exhibition “Common Ground: The Heart of Community,” an overview of Japanese American history from early immigration to the present day.
JANM members receive free admission to “Hello!” as well as other exhibition-related benefits. To become a member, or upgrade an existing membership, visit http://janm.org/membership.
“Hello!” is supported by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and Typecraft.