Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty: It’s Hello Kitty’s 40th Anniversary at JANM and Hello Kitty Con!


Hello Kitty 82

Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat

It was one night out clubbing in San Diego, while we were driving to a Punk show when Sue Haines, an Australian native and a woman whom I adored, popped open her Hello Kitty compact to freshen up her look a bit before we stepped out. I exclaimed, what’s that? She started telling me and all in the car about Hello Kitty. I was transfixed by Hello Kitty’s cuteness and overall innocence. Sue continued to explain how much she loved Hello Kitty, describing the Hello Kitty product line and the different the gear she had to accessorize any look. Hello Kitty became an instant hit within the San Diego Punk Rock subculture, while she emerged as cultural phenomenon world-wide.

Speeding ahead decades the goodness of Hello Kitty has kept spreading, transforming and transfixing new groups of fans who have discovered her magic and her charm. Hello Kitty is celebrating her 40th anniversary in grand style at the Japanese American National Museum with a retrospective called “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty” and “Hello Kitty Con“. The JANM retrospective will show through April 26th, 2015 and Hello Kitty Con will take place from October 30th through November 2, 2014. While most of the Hello Kitty Con special events have sold out there’s still time catch the retrospective and bask in Hello Kitty Con glory before the month ends.

Photo Gallery after the Break The JANM retrospective will include 40 years of curated Hello Kitty memorabilia. It’s an extensive collection that chronicles the beginnings and the profound expansion of Sanio with the idea of “Little Gifts, Big Smiles” was at the heart of their motto of Hello Kitty’s creation. Dr. Christine Yano author of “Pink Generation: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across The Pacific” has curated of iconic and historical elements of the exhibit spanning the 40-years timeline for JANM, while Jamie Rivadeneira, founder and owner of JapanLA curated the art component of the exhibition. Dr. Yano feature rare and iconic artifacts from Sanrio’s archives. This includes Hello Kitty’s first coin purse, the telephone and one of a kind items like Lady Gaga’s dress. Ms. Rivadeneira has brought mix media works to the exhibition demonstrating Hello Kitty’s influence on contemporary art with a diverse selections of artist that includes, Audrey Kawasaki, Gary Baseman, Kazuki Takamatsu, kozyndan, Osamu Watanabe and Simone Legno. Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty offers a complete and exhaustive experience of all things Hello Kitty that connects with any Hello Kitty enthusiast and fanatic.

Hello Kitty Con starts on October 30th to reconnect us to the fun we’ve all experienced with Hello Kitty. There will be numerous events that will include a cosplay contest in Friendship Village daily from 4:30 to 5pm, Hello Kitty art classes that are interactive installations with photo ops created by artists, Hello Kitty fashion with one-of-a-kind creations by 13 designers from all over the globe and much more to be a part of all the fun activities can be seem here. If this is anything like Hello Kitty’s 35th Royal T celebration there will be opportunities for some “Naughty” Hello Kitty fun, like sipping Hello Kitty champagne, while dancing and prancing with the Bubble Punch Ladies, Pastel Goths and Harajuku Girls: turning the volume up for such fun festivities, where cute shall reign! Hello Kitty’s appeal is universal and crosses cultures and demographics as no other iconic image ever has or likely ever will be. As Halloween approaches and there turns a slight chill in the air, Hello Kitty Con gives one the license to pull out all the stops and kick the winter season into full gear with unique style for the one of a kind experience that only Hello Kitty can deliver!

Billy Bennight

About Billy Bennight

Billy Bennight is a writer and photographer with expertise and years of experience in these disciplines. His musical youth started as a Punk Rocker and has expanded into exploring many genres of music, with a keen interest in art, fashion, photography, and writing. He shoots celebrity and red-carpet events for ZUMA Press. He is also a member of the Los Angeles Art Association. His images have been published in The Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, Parade, Wall Street Journal, and French Elle, both Vanity Fair and Vanity Fair Italia. He's very engaged in life. You an see more of his work at ZUMA Press at http://zuma.press/srp.html?SRCH=Billy+Bennight&timerange=&viewType=&PDS=&PAGENO=1 You can follow him on his Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/billybennightartist and on Instagram and Twitter @billybennight
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