Virtual presentation explores the history and pop culture impact of fictional giant monsters
Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale and The Consulate-General of Japan in Miami are proud to present Japanese Kaiju Toys and Contemporary Art, an online lecture that will premiere on NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale’s YouTube channel on Thursday, July 9 at 6:00 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public and all those interested in viewing may register at www.nsuartmuseum.org/event.
Hosted by Professor James B. Levy, Professor at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law and a longtime collector of Japanese kaiju toys, this virtual presentation will explore the history and cultural impact of the kaiju – an array of fictional giant monster-like characters that have transcended Japanese culture to become hugely popular among science fiction fans, artists, scholars, and folklore lovers around the globe – in toy form. The lecture will also delve into how these colorful collectibles have changed how many define art and how it is collected.
First depicted during the 1960s and ‘70s in Japanese television shows, these giant monsters were usually shown battling super-heroes trying to save cities from destruction. Their quick rise in popularity prompted Japanese companies to produce an array of soft vinyl monster toys based on their characters. Decades later, these kaiju collectibles were rediscovered by collectors including influential artists, musicians, designers and writers who were attracted by their fanciful, creative designs and wild, psychedelic colors, and are responsible for starting the urban vinyl collector movement, which has been embraced by artists like KAWS, FriendsWithYou, Kenny Scharf, Yoshimoto Nara and Takashi Murakami. Some of these artists are currently being featured in NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale’s Happy! exhibition, recently extended through August 30.
To explore additional virtual resources offered by NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, including virtual tours and educational resources, visit www.nsuartmuseum.org/#virtual.
To become a member and further support Fort Lauderdale’s premier museum, visit www.nsuartmuseum.org/join/
The Consulate-General of Japan in Miami also offers a free monthly e-newsletter with more ways to enjoy Japanese art and culture. To sign up visit www.miami.us.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/00_000381.html