Growing up the oldest grandchild on my mom's side of the family, I idolized my aunties and was into whatever they were. That, of course, included Hello Kitty. I'm talking 80's Hello Kitty, when you could only find her in Sanrio boutiques that gave you a trinket on your shopping bag. Sanrio stores were a bonding experience, and the little notebooks, erasers, bubble gum, plush toys and more were as much family connections as they were cute.
I never imagined that one day I'd have the honor of previewing an exhibit dedicated exclusively to the queen of all things kawaii. Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty opens this Saturday at the Experience Music Project, where you and all Hello Kitty fans can be immersed in her world.
Explore Hello Kitty’s colorful history and influence on art and culture through over 500 rare and unique pieces from Sanrio’s archive alongside 35 mixed media works from international contemporary artists inspired by Hello Kitty and her world.
Sanrio and the EMP have done an incredible job curating this exhibit with careful thought to the different ways Hello Kitty has made an impact on her fans. You'll see her family tree, walk through a timeline of Hello Kitty's illustrious history, a myriad of co-branding efforts, traditional Japanese wares and custom celebrity fashion pieces.
The artist interpretations of Hello Kitty are arguably the coolest part of this exhibit. My favorite piece is hard to miss - the "Kittypatra" by Simone Legno for tokidoki: