I visited the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu costume exhibit, taking advantage of a family Tokyo excursion to do what I guess is my first “on the ground” assignment as a blogger. I did it out of respect for all the Kyary fans that have been dropping by here. I’m not sure I would have gone otherwise, but it was a kick and I’m glad I did. So, thanks for motivating me, global Kyary fans!
Set sphinx-like at the entrance to the exhibit, these cute grotesqueries (of unkown provenance) could be considered the gargoyles of the Kyary Cathedral. Or (following my intuition that there is a fair amount of Buddhist influence in Kyary’s image-scape) they could be the monster dieties standing guard at either side of the temple gate. Whatever they are, let us bravely pass between them and go inside.
Classic Kyary wordplay. Why didn’t I see that one coming? The fonts also make this sign hard to parse in either language, which is another Kyary kyaracteristic. The exhibit was held on the first floor of TV Asahi’s headquarters at Roppongi Hills and will be there through most of March.
I actually got to the exhibit just at closing time, but the staff (two Pamyu-esque girls) and curator/manager very kindly let me in anyway. As I was abusing their kindness I was not inclined to inquire about the ribbon headsets, which (I learned later) have Kyary’s voice explaining each display. The headsets have another function, according to this thorough write up by sgcafe:
Aside from the exhibition of Kyary’s costumes, visitors get a chance to play a very “interesting” game called “Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Museum ~Kawaii Wo Torimodose!~” (which means Save Kawaii!). We know how much Kyary loves outfits that are out of the ordinary. So in the game, participants have to save Kyary from the witch who wants her to look “plain”. Four symbols must be obtained to save her from the witch’s evil plans.
Since participants are on Kyary’s side, during the game, they have to keep themselves from being plain by wearing this “Moshi Moshi” headseat inside the museum.
So, let’s start the exhibit, sans headset. First up, we have . . . Ah!
I’ve posted on this video here. Note the skirt made out of bags of potato chips and other assorted junk food.
Now, to tell you the truth, I kind of rushed my way through this exhibit, as I was late from the start and didn’t want to dawdle, and I snapped a lot of photos without stopping to take note of the labels. This became a problem in retrospect because . . .
I have no idea where this is from. Fortunately, sgcafe has this one covered, too:
Outfit from when Kyary was crowned as the “Harajuku Kawaii Ambassador”
Please note the camera appearing where the head is supposed to be. The deal with many of these displays is that you’re supposed to poke your head in the opening, and then, through the magic of mirrors, YOU appear wearing the Kyary outfit. I didn’t do that, but what we lost in display effect we gained in non-grossed-outedness, OK? You’re very welcome!
So, we move on. What’s up next? Ah, familiar territory.
The viral video that made Kyary a global sensation. We discussed it here (which according to my internals is my most read post). And the youngsters reacted to it here.
Next up we have . . .
I wasn’t aware that Kyary had a cubist period, but apparently she did. The effect is amplified by the funhouse mirrors. What is this from? The sgcafe article comes to the rescue again:
Costume from Kyary’s first album launch event
I haven’t posted this video here. It’s my least favorite of her songs, and I find the video wierd in a more off-putting than charming way. It’s probably the Kyary work with the most otaku appeal. But it seems to be a wild hit at her concerts.
Kyary’s outfit during the MTV Video Music Awards in Japan
We are a little more than 1/3 of the way through this exhibit. Up next, the Fashion Monster display, which is the centerpiece of the Kyary Pamyu Pamuseum and features not only Kyary’s irresistible bat hairdo, but props from the monster band. Stay tuned!
UPDATE: Thanks for dropping by Kyary fans, and thanks to whoever the referrers have been. You might be interested in the rest of the series (Part 2 was my favorite display and part 3 was moderately interesting):
Part 2: Fashion Monster
Part 3: Miscellaneous and Furisodeshon Finale