Pokémon’s art exhibition celebrating Japanese craftwork is coming to Los Angeles

We’re still quite a ways out from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s big DLC drops, and it’s not clear when the newest Pokémon anime will start airing outside of Japan. But anyone looking for an artful Poké-fix might want to start thinking about visits to Los Angeles this summer to take in The Pokémon Company’s upcoming Pokémon × Kogei craftwork exhibition.

Today, The Pokémon Company announced its new collaboration with Japan House Los Angeles to bring Pokémon × Kogei, a collection of over 70 pieces of handcrafted art from 20 different artists working in a variety of mediums, to the US for a five-month-long exhibition. In a press release about the exhibition, The Pokémon Company president and CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara said that it was an honor to celebrate the Pokémon brand through the “ingenious creations” of creators like metal artist Morihito Katsura and sculptor Taiichiro Yoshida.

“The talented artists behind the POKÉMON X KOGEI exhibit bring the Pokémon world to life in a never-before-seen way while honoring traditional Japanese artistry in each piece,” said Ishihara. “Our collaboration with Japan House Los Angeles offers a unique platform to celebrate Japanese culture, as well as the artists, for fans of both the Pokémon brand and art.”

In addition to being meant to “creatively channel the world” of Pokémon as a whole, according to Japan House’s website, each of Pokémon × Kogei’s three main sections — Life, Stories, and Appearance — speak to the different ways each artist had to “challenge” their subjects in order to bring them to life.

“In Appearance, the craft artists challenge the Pokémon depicting their forms as well as their skin or fur, gestures, and expressions,” the website explains. “In Stories, the artists again challenge the Pokémon, imagining their world, their adventurous journeys, lives, evolutions, and inherent special qualities.” True to the spirit of the Pokémon games, Pokémon × Kogei tickets to which are freewill switch up the selection of artworks on display throughout the duration of its run in order to create a sense of it being an environment full of living creatures (and to encourage repeat visits). Considering how conceptual some of the exhibition’s pieces are, multiple viewings to really take it all in might be a pretty solid idea.

Pokémon × Kogei Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft runs from July 25th, 2023, to January 7th, 2024.

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