hello kitty 40thThe Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo, will present a first-of-its-kind exhibition in honor of the 40th anniversary of pop icon Hello Kitty, beginning Saturday, Oct. 11.

“Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty” will combine a product-based historical and sociological examination of Hello Kitty, including rare and unique pieces from Sanrio’s archives, with an installation of mixed media works by artists demonstrating Hello Kitty’s influence on contemporary art.

Christine Yano, author of “Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific,” will serve as curator for the retrospective component of the exhibition. Jamie Rivadeneira, founder and owner of pop culture-inspired boutique JapanLA, will curate the contemporary art component.

Lectures, panel discussions, and workshops will be scheduled during the exhibition’s six-month run, offering opportunities for the public to learn more about and gain new appreciation for the evolution of Hello Kitty, the role she has played bridging Japanese and American cultures in the U.S., and fans’ emotional connection to the character.

The JANM exhibition is a key element among several events and collaborations celebrating Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary. These also include Hello Kitty Con 2014, a convention at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, running Oct. 30 to Nov. 2; new product releases, including limited-edition 40th anniversary collectibles; and Hello Kitty appearances around the globe in support of the Share a Hug with Hello Kitty! campaign.

Further details and updates on Hello Kitty’s 40th Anniversary celebration can be found at http://sanrio.com/hellokitty40th.

“Hello!” will be a specially ticketed exhibition, on view through April 26. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for ages 6 to 17, free for ages 5 and under. All admissions are based on timed entry. Obtaining tickets in advance is strongly encouraged. Tickets go on sale Monday, Sept. 29.

JANM members receive free admission (one visit per day) and early access to the online ticket reservation system.

Updates on participating artists and historical artifacts to be displayed will be posted at http://janm.org/hellokitty.


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