Exhibition Exploring Hello Kitty Coming to EMP

Record-Breaking Exhibition Exploring the Phenomenon of Hello Kitty Coming to EMP on November 14, 2015

The first large-scale Hello Kitty museum retrospective in the United States will be on display at EMP Museum and is scheduled to open on November 14, 2015. Created in celebration of the pop icon's 40th Anniversary, Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty is organized by Sanrio, the global lifestyle brand best known for Hello Kitty, and the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), where the exhibition originated. The show examines the colorful history of Hello Kitty and her influence on popular culture, combining a product-based historical and sociological examination of Hello Kitty with more than 600 rare and unique pieces from Sanrio's archives, and an installation of over 40 mixed media works by artists from around the world demonstrating Hello Kitty's influence on contemporary art. Hello! invites the public to learn more about and gain new appreciation for the evolution of Hello Kitty, the role she has played bridging Japanese and American cultures in the U.S., and fans' emotional connection to her. Hello! will be on view at EMP through May 15, 2016. Plans are underway for the exhibition to travel to additional museums across the U.S. The exhibition is toured by Curatorial Assistance.

"Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty offers an in-depth look at the evolution of Hello Kitty and her impact on pop culture around the world," said Jill Koch, Sr. Vice President of Brand Management and Marketing of Sanrio, Inc. "After a successful run at the Japanese American National Museum, we are excited to bring the exhibition to EMP and share the experience with more fans. EMP, whose mission of reaching multigenerational audiences through powerful exhibits and programming focused on contemporary culture, is the perfect home for our retrospective."

Hello! originated at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, where it drew record-breaking attendance from visitors of all ages from around the world. The exhibition was co-curated by Dr. Christine Yano, author of Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific, and Jamie Rivadeneira, founder and owner of pop culture-inspired boutique JapanLA, located in Los Angeles.

Dr. Yano curated the retrospective component of the exhibition featuring rare artifacts from Sanrio's archives including a variety of plush spanning a 40 year timeline, Hello Kitty's first telephone, stationery items, and many more vintage products from the 1970s and 1980s along with contemporary objects such as the one-of-a-kind Hello Kitty dress worn by Lady Gaga, a couture bustier worn by Katy Perry, diamond jewelry, and a Hello Kitty talking robot, allowing fans to connect to Hello Kitty's history and view her evolution as a true cultural ambassador.

Ms. Rivadeneira curated the exhibition's art component, bringing in a selection of mixed media works that demonstrate Hello Kitty's influence on contemporary art. A diverse group of artists including Gary Baseman, Kazuki Takamatsu, kozyndan, Osamu Watanabe, and Simone Legno for tokidoki are featured in the exhibition.

Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty will be included with EMP Museum admission.

About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)
Established in 1985, the Japanese American national Museum promotes understanding and appreciation of America's ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories and strives to provide a voice for Japanese Americans as well as a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public, JANM has presented over 70 exhibitions onsite and traveled 17 of its exhibitions to over 30 locations, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America.

About EMP Museum
EMP is a leading-edge, nonprofit museum, dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel popular culture. With its roots in rock ‘n' roll, EMP serves as a gateway museum, reaching multigenerational audiences through collections, exhibitions and educational programs, using interactive technologies to engage and empower its visitors. At EMP, artists, audiences and ideas converge, bringing understanding, interpretation and scholarship to the popular culture of our time.

EMP is housed in a 140,000 square foot Frank O. Gehry-designed building. This spectacular, prominently visible structure has the presence of a monumental sculpture set amid the backdrop of the Seattle Center.

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Media requests: EMP Contacts
Anita Woo (206)262-3245
AnitaW@EMPmuseum.org

About Sanrio
Sanrio is the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty, who is celebrating her 40th Anniversary this year. Home to many endearing characters including Chococat, My Melody, Badtz-Maru and Keroppi, Sanrio was founded on the 'small gift, big smile' philosophy - that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. Since 1960, this philosophy has served as the inspiration for the broad spectrum of unique products and experiences. Today, more than 50,000 Sanrio-branded items are available in over 70 countries and upwards of 15,000 U.S. retail locations including department, specialty, national chain stores and over 80 Sanrio boutiques. For more information please visit www.sanrio.com and www.facebook.com/hellokitty.

Media requests: Orsi Public Relations
Dyann Hawkins/Racine Diaz (323)874-4073
dyann@orsipr.com/racine@orsipr.com

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