2015 > Kawaii: crafting the Japanese culture of cute

The exhibition 'Kawaii - crafting the Japanese culture of cute' brings together 15 Japanese artists who are using traditional craft skills to translate, comment upon and engage with all aspects of Kawaii.


30 October - 12 December 2015
Monday to Friday 10am -5pm, Saturday 10am -4pm, closed Sunday

James Hockey & Foyer Galleries, UCA Farnham
Falkner Road, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7DS


The artists, most of whom are new to the UK, drawn from the most well established and respected to emerging artists, represent many of the traditional crafts.

Textile artists:

  • Suzumi Noda
  • Chie Sakai
  • Chie Kinoshita
  • Shin Enomoto
  • Yasuko Fujino
  • Né-Net

Their works use traditional and jacquard weave, dye and stitch techniques. Outcomes range from reflections on the nature of children's nursery rhymes and fairy tales, transgressive soft dolls, costumes and sexual politics.

Urushi (lacquer): which is the most labour intensive of the crafts:  

  • Aya Kametani
  • Ichizo Ino
  • Mina Okuhata

One on wood (the traditional method for sculptures of Buddha), one on cloth and one on ceramic. The outcomes vary from tiny sheep supporting a micro-culture; haunting, life size children; and new approaches to nail art.


  • Yu Ushida who plays with our addictions.


  • Nobuko Tsutsumi who reveals the underside of cute.

Sugar Craft:

  • Minako Nishiyama is working with sugar paste to create her melting roses - an installation for a long gone pink princess. In this she is placing Western sugar craft in the context of  Ohigashi, the traditional sculpting of soft sweet bean paste for table decoration.

Mixed Media:

  • Mitsuo Toyazaki
  • Gendai Bijutsu Nitouhei
  • Mikkiko Minewaki

Mixed media bonsai trees in traditional bonsai pots and stands, guerilla Venus de Milo capsule toys and teddybears.

Handmade Paper (washi):

  • Chika Ohgi

A large installation from tiny scraps of pink and white handmade paper echoing the falling petals of cherry blossom

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