Monday, October 5, 2009

Celebrate 35 Years of HK in L.A.

Opening October 23, Three Apples An Exhibition celebrating 35 years of Hello Kitty will turn Royal/T into a oasis of all things super cute. Three Apples will feature art, design displays, a one-of-a-kind shop, unique products, a Hello Kitty apartment, and events for fans of all ages. The show is open to the public and free of charge.

The Three Apples art show, curated by Jamie Rivadeneira of JapanLA, features original work by more than eighty artists including: Gary Baseman, Ron English, Buff Monster, Camilla d'Errico, Luke Chueh, Deph, Amanda Visell, Frank Kozik, Natalia Fabia, Huck Gee, Simone Legno, Tara McPherson, and Yosuke Ueno. A portion of the profits will be donated to LA Works, a non-profit company that creates community service projects.

LAist asked curator, Jamie Rivadeniera to tell us more about the Hello Kitty art, JapanLA, and the upcoming 35th anniversary plans.

LAist: Your store JapanLA always carries so many cute Hello Kitty things. When did you start collecting Hello Kitty?

Jamie Rivadeniera: Hello Kitty has been a part of my life since I was around 5 or 6 years old. I didn't really start collecting until I opened my store in June 2006. Growing up, I just had Hello Kitty items that I used daily like pens, pencil cases, paper, scissors, stuff like that...and clothing....and gum. On special occasions, my mom would buy me surprise bags.

What is your all time favorite Hello Kitty item?

I don't have a favorite. It changes all the time. It is impossible for me to pick one.

Sanrio asked you to curate the art show part of the event. How did you get that gig?

I approached Sanrio to do an art show two years ago. They really liked the idea, but I think the timing just wasn't right. Then, I asked them again, and they told me that they were planning a big 35th anniversary of Hello Kitty exhibition, and said, "Let's do it during that." Sanrio had always been great to work with through my store.

You have more than 80 artists creating original artwork for the show. What was your criteria for choosing artists?

I am friends with some of the artists, and I knew they loved Hello Kitty. So, I would approach artists by asking them if they liked Hello Kitty. To my surprise, I found out that a lot of them were mega fans and some of the guys had secret Hello Kitty collections. Originally, we were only going to have 35 artists in the show, but it quickly grew to 80 because most of the artists I asked said, "Yes" and then would tell me, "Oh you should ask so and so, he/she loves Hello Kitty." The only rule we gave artists was to show an underlying love for Hello Kitty, which is exactly what we got with the art pieces.

Which Hello Kitty artwork surprised you the most?

I think Colin Christian's seven foot tall "Cosmic Kitty." I didn't expect that he was making that large of a piece. When I invited him, I thought he may do a small sculpture if he had time. He ended up making this awesome piece with light up/color changing whiskers and lights on her base...made from fiberglass and is so amazing. All of the artists came up with things I couldn't imagine. People will be really impressed and surprised by all the art.

Thanks Jamie!

In honor of Hello Kitty's 35 anniversary, Sanrio brings this multi-dimensional exhibition celebrating all things Hello Kitty. This is the first time that Sanrio has produced an event for the Hello Kitty fans in North America. The event will kick-off with a VIP gala on October 22 followed by a three week residency at Royal/T. Royal/T artspace/cafe/shop is located at 8910 Washington Boulevard in Culver City from 10am -10pm daily.


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