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- Photos: Jessica Estrada
- The exhibition begins with the retrospective portion, which takes you back through four decades of Hello Kitty throwbacks. The first room features a vintage phone, plush dolls, and must-have school supplies. We also learn that Hello Kitty's full name is K
- The first thing you see upon entering Hello Kitty's supercute world is the first Hello Kitty product ever made—an adorable tiny vinyl coin purse from 1975.
- Here's a closer look at some of the too-cute Hello Kitty school essentials.
- Venture into the next room to find more Hello Kitty memorabilia. The girl has her name and face on everything. Seriously, we're talking a curling iron, toilet paper, duck tape, a toaster, a coffee maker, a sewing machine, and much more. Fun fact: Her birt
- You'll also encounter a talking Hello Kitty robot. She's fully equipped with voice recognition and a camera in her eyes so she can recognize and call her owner by name. Where can we get one of these?
- Hello Kitty is pretty adventurous, too. She’s got her own surfboard, suitcases, skates, and skateboard.
- Hello Kitty's sunny school-themed section. Remember those lunch boxes?
- A closer look at Hello Kitty's sweet ride.
- Backpacks for days!
- The next room showcases a rad pink guitar and tons more Japanese-inspired souvenirs.
- A glorious wall stacked with insanely adorable Hello Kitty goodies.
- A pretty trail of bows leads you up to the contemporary art portion of the exhibition.
- Here, we enter the art gallery, which is filled with Hello Kitty-inspired masterpieces from a diverse roster of artists.
- "Hello Kitty in Bloom" by Michael Courville is made up of vintage flower pins.
- "Hello Kitty Fanatic" by Junko Mizuno (2014).
- "Pomme Party!" by Tado is among the crazy-cool artwork inspired by Hello Kitty's world.
- Wild Hello Kitty dresses get their own section. Be sure to check out Lady Gaga's plush-toy covered number on the far right.
- It's safe to say Hello Kitty is a celebrity in her own right.
- Every room is bright and cheerful, which if fitting for a happiness ambassador.
- Sitting atop a pyramid is this tiny Hello Kitty doll posed just like the one on the original coin purse. It's meant to remind guests that she's not just a pop culture icon. “Hello Kitty was created to bring happiness to the world,” says Janet Hsu, preside
- Hello Kitty goes Egyptian: This giant fiberglass sculpture, dubbed "Kittypatra," is truly a sight to see.
- This badass "Superfly Kitty" statue by Colin Christian serves as the grand finale to the exhibit.
It's finally here! Hello Kitty's massive 40th anniversary retrospective exhibition, Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty, has officially invaded Downtown LA's Japanese American National Museum. The insanely cute exhibition showcases more than 500 items including a colorful collection of vintage Hello Kitty things and some pretty spectacular contemporary artwork inspired by the adorable animated girl.
The retrospective portion of the exhibit was curated by Dr. Christine Yano, author of Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific, while the modern art portion was curated by LA's own Jamie Rivadeneira, founder and owner of JapanLA. "I've been a fan of Hello Kitty since I was a little girl," Rivadeneira tells us at the opening of the exhibit. "I never grew out of it. Instead, I embraced my love for Hello Kitty and opened my store JapanLA eight years ago keeping the adult Hello Kitty fan in mind. For me, Hello Kitty is a lifestyle. She represents embracing what you love and being whoever you want to be in life."
Explore the must-visit exhibition below, visit it ASAP, and for even more cuteness check out the museum's roster of Hello Kitty events, which include panel discussions, sushi-making classes, a Japanese cloth dyeing workshop, and much more.
The exhibit is open now through April 26, 2015. Buy $20 (or $10 for ages 6-17) tickets here.
· Sanrio [Official Site]
· Japanese American National Museum [Official Site]
· OMG: A Hello Kitty Convention is Coming to LA This Fall [Racked]
· The First-Ever Hello Kitty Museum Exhibit Hits DTLA in Oct [Racked]