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Hello Kitty Exhibition in Tokyo by Nagoya Iwama, Japan

ATUSHI NAKAMICHI/NACASA & PARTNERS

Japanese artist Nagoya Iwama was commissioned by Fukoku Life Insurance to realize an exhibition within the company’s entrance hall featuring the instantly recognizable and one of the most famous characters of Japan, Hello Kitty. For this project, Fukoku Life Insurance has teamed up with Sanrio to produce 62 unique graphics that illustrate her in costumes that represent each branch of the company across Japan.

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An abstract map of Japan is drawn on the floor, above which the Local Kittys with regional characteristics are floated, resulting in an expression of the Japanese islands utilizing the entire space. It is a composition that enables visitors to understand the nationwide network of the company by going around the hall as if travelling throughout Japan, and to experience Japanese traditions and regional characteristics through the unique Local Kittys.

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The entrance is decorated with a Noren (short split curtain) with family emblem-like Hello Kitty, as a symbol of this exhibition that integrates Japanese tradition and pop culture. The Noren is a border between the everyday office space and the unusual exhibition hall. Excessive interior decorations are eliminated as much as possible, in order to translate the simple and constitutive design of Hello Kitty into a space.

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The space consists of a white floor, white frames suspended from beams, the map of Japan that is drawn with occasionally narrowed or widened black lines that remind us of the outline of Hello Kitty, and the floating visual exhibition of the Local Kittys from the branch offices. By lowering the frames to eye level, the enclosed area seems like an exhibition room. At the same time, the areas outside the frames serves as traffic lines. These ultimately express a loosely-connected Japan as a whole.

The exhibition will runs until June 30, 2015 at Fukoku Seimei Building entrance hall, 2-2-2, Uchisaiwai-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

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all image © ATUSHI NAKAMICHI/NACASA & PARTNERS