Sebastian Masuda’s Giant Hello Kitty Sculpture Lands in New York City

Sebastian Masuda – a Japanese artist who is also the founder of the famous Harajuku boutique 6%DOKIDOKI and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s art director – is on a mission to spread the power of “kawaii” around the globe. Last year, he kicked off his ambitious “Time after Time Capsule” project in Miami. Florida was just the start, though. Masuda’s goal is to put ten of his giant kawaii time capsules in ten cities around the globe before the 2020 Olympics.

The latest Time After Time Capsule is a nine foot tall Hello Kitty sculpture which landed in New York City on May 3, 2015. The giant Hello Kitty time capsule sculpture will be open for viewing – and for adding items to – until September 13, 2015. Sebastian Masuda’s will be posting news and updates on the project on his Official Facebook Page.

Here is the info on the New York Time After Time Capsule directly from the organizers:

Sebastian Masuda, a contemporary artist and a founder of Harajuku Kawaii culture is pleased to bring long-term participatory art project, “Time After Time Capsule”, to the heart of Manhattan. With the support of Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, Japan Society and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the project in New York City will launch on Sunday, May 3, 2015.

The outdoor sculpture will continue to be exhibited through Sunday, September 13, 2015 at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza East 47th Street between 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue. “Time After Time Capsule” started from 2014 in Miami, and over the course of five year period, is expected to travel to 10 cities throughout the world. After New York City, the project is expected to travel to the Netherlands.

“Time After Time Capsule” explores whether Kawaii, a concept with local roots, can effect global change. Masuda defines Kawaii as a collection of microcosms of collected objects and feelings uniquely personalized by and deeply personal to each individual. Bringing together these microcosms in a greater whole, in “Time After Time Capsule,” Masuda, along with participants, hopes to collect a plethora of items that have intimate sentimental value in larger-than-life time capsules in the form of animals, as homage to the memory of childhood. For the New York City iteration, Masuda has created a Hello Kitty-shaped sculpture as a globally recognized Japanese icon. For the past Miami event, Masuda created a bear-shaped sculpture, based on one of his favorite motifs, and over the course of a single day, more than 1,000 audience members participated in the event.

Planning to undertake this participatory project in a number of cities over the next five years, the project will culminate in 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympics, where the time capsules— filled with personal objects—are expected to be gathered from all over the world to Tokyo and re-interpreted as a sculptural intervention in a public space.

His previous solo art exhibition in New York City in 2013 presented a physical actualization of his own self by creating a small, intimate room filled with Kawaii objects. However, Masuda’s “Time After Time Capsule” is in some way the exact opposite—allowing the public to access and interpret Kawaii. “Time After Time Capsule” provides an opportunity for involvement by others in an artwork that truly emblematizes “art as a cultural movement.”

In addition to the “Time After Time Capsule” launch event, to broadly open up the opportunity to participate in this project, a series of workshops will be held in collaboration with local schools, universities and institutes.

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  1. I saw the sculpture on my way to the airport to leave NYC. It’s magnificent!