Solo Exhibit by Japanese Modern Artist Mr. in HK Features Lolita and Otaku Culture

Mr.(Mister), a self-described "otaku" (Japanese for "nerd") known as a creator of adorable "moe" art (pronounced "MOH-eh") who studied under famed Japanese modern artist Takashi Murakami, opened his first solo exhibit on October 4 at Galerie Perrotin (50 Connaught Road) in Hong Kong's Central district. The exhibit's title is "Sweeet!"

Mr.'s works employ a plethora of loud color to express a unique worldview that paints the flat canvas with a good balance of nostalgia-inducing scenes inlayed with cute writing. The words he paints are a sign of the times. Some Japanese examples are "yabai" (meaning "dangerous, "terrible" or "terrific," depending on the context), "kabuka" ("stock price"), "shinayaka" (meaning "flexible," "elegant" or "graceful") and "go go" (a loanword from English). Upon closer inspection of Mr.'s painting, it seems that the letters, which have a completely uniform color, rise up from the canvas like stickers. Meanwhile, his art inspire a sense of familiarity. In this day when many Japanese cartoons, or "anime," make use of computer animation, Mr.'s many enormous works manage to impress viewers through analog means. There are 10 works large and small on display in the "Sweeet!" exhibit.

At its opening, Mr. visited Hong Kong and met the local media, sporting a tough-guy look with a T-shirt bearing a printed "Mr." logo on the chest, but he was kind enough to strike cute "moe" poses upon request. Mr. is happy to hold his first solo exhibit in Hong Kong. Sensing the response his art has received, he said, "I've been sharing my works on Instagram and stuff lately, but I've gotten a really good response here because I've suddenly gotten a lot more followers outside Japan since right after I came to Hong Kong in person."

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. until November 9.



How many times have you been to Hong Kong?