“POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft” puts the focus on a pair of Japanese cultural exports and the collision between a decades-old gaming franchise and centuries-old crafting techniques.
For video game fans, the phrase “Pokémon exhibition” is probably all the convincing they need to swing by JAPAN HOUSE. But the Hollywood cultural center’s gallery will use the imagined world of Pokémon to spotlight the traditional techniques behind the 70 or so works of ceramics, textiles, lacquer and metalwork on display (for example, how crafts’ reliance on the earth’s basic materials and forces are similar to the game’s elemental types).
The free exhibition, which debuted at Japan’s National Crafts Museum earlier this year, heads to Hollywood from July 25, 2023 to January 7, 2024. Among the 20 Japanese artists featured, highlights include textile designer Reiko Sudo’s “Pikachu Forest” of 900 strands of lace and metal artist Taiichiro Yoshida’s copper sculptures of Eevee and its three first-generation evolutions. You can expect pieces with adorable starter Pokémon like Rowlet, Litten and Popplio as well as some of the series’ more ferocious creatures, like a fiery Charizard piercing through a ceramic jar or a delicately lacquered Moltres adorning a tea caddy.