Last Thursday night, hundreds of kawaii enthusiasts and contemporary art collectors visited the gallery to welcome Sebastian Masuda to New York and celebrate the opening of True Colors: Sebastian Masuda. Despite the rainy evening, the gallery was bright with the kawaii spirit and warm with spiked cider. In his second New York exhibition, Masuda invites you to trade the grayscale of daily life for a movingly vibrant spectrum of color. Through dynamic multimedia collages, this immersive exhibition extols Masuda's message of "colorful rebellion" against the gray, dark and disharmony of the world. This exhibition is held in conjunction with Asia Contemporary Art Week.
Born in Chiba in 1970, Masuda is a contemporary artist and father of kawaii culture. In 1995, he opened his now iconic store, 6%DOKIDOKI, and his boundless imagination sparked a unique and thriving community. Characterized by bright colors and youthful and funky clothing, his artistic vision permeated Japanese pop culture. Over the past 20 years, Masuda has explored this vision across stage, screen, and museums worldwide.
True Colors consists of three distinct series: Colorful Rebellion, True Colors, and Emotion. Masuda began the Colorful Rebellion series in 2011. Drawing on his vision behind 6% DOKIDOKI, the works do not use paint or typical art supplies. Instead, they rely solely on commercial objects, from neon Legos to pastel plush animals. In the True Colors series, Masuda embraces the colors often deemed "venomous and too chemical." He refutes this association, recognizing their legacy in pre-World War II Japan. He believes that these striking colors have been lost to modern society, extracted from the human heart by war. This series reintroduces its beholder to these passionate shades. Finally, in the Emotion series, Masuda expresses his personal kawaii and the emotional undercurrents that fester within each of us, recognizing the intertwined nature of light and dark.
If you couldn't join us for Thursday's festivities, be sure to stop by the gallery soon! The exhibition will be on view until December 3rd. You can also explore True Colors: Sebastian Masuda online here.