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Media Release

For Immediate Release | July 13, 2017

Tokyo FRUiTS

The Japan Foundation, Sydney presents Tokyo FRUiTS, an event series on Japan’s vibrant and innovative street fashion. The program features an exhibition of Tokyo’s striking street wear, photographed by influential street fashion magazine FRUiTS in the period following the Powerhouse Museum’s 2002 FRUiTS: Tokyo Street Style travelling exhibition. The Tokyo FRUiTS event series also includes a number of related talks and a film screening. All events will be held at The Japan Foundation, Sydney from August 4 to September 16, 2017.

Exhibition

Tokyo FRUiTS – 20 years of Street Fashion
August 4 – September 16, 2017

From colourful decora to neo-goths and cyber-punks, influential street fashion publication FRUiTS magazine told stories from Harajuku, the creative centre of Tokyo fashion, for over twenty years. Led by photographer Shoichi Aoki, the publication was developed in 1997 in response to Harajuku’s bourgeoning experimental street fashion boom and documented the colourful characters that defined the creative and fun identity of Tokyo’s youth culture. It was through walking and modelling on Harajuku’s streets that J-Pop Princess, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, rose to fame, becoming Harajuku’s official kawaii ambassador and inspiring fans around the world.

Twenty years on, the palette of street fashion has evolved to a simpler aesthetic, with a stronger Western influence, and the FRUiTS publication drew to a close. Tokyo FRUiTS traces the movement from Decora girl gangs, Lolita, and Urahara kei, through to the more recent trends of Neo Gyaru, Nu Goth, and the Simple Boom. The exhibition will also feature an immersive installation of a Harajuku room, produced by researcher Megan Russell.

Join us for Tokyo FRUiTSopening reception on Friday, August 4 at 6:30pm.

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J-Pop Princess Kyary Pamyu Pamyu from her pre-idol days.
Image courtesy of Shoichi Aoki, FRUiTS magazine

Talks

Where have all the lolitas gone?
The significance of place for Harajuku Kawaii Fashion Communities
By Megan Catherine Rose
Thursday, August 10 | 6:30pm – 8pm (doors open 6pm)

Through media-based representations of the “Harajuku Girl,” our perceptions of kawaii fashion are now intertwined with our understanding of Harajuku as a space. However, Lolitas and other kawaii fashionistas are slowly leaving Harajuku. Why is this the case? And, where are they now? Using interviews with key style icons in the kawaii fashion community, this talk explores the significance of Harajuku to community members. It also offers new ways in which we can understand and appreciate the practices of the “Harajuku girl.”

Tokyo Style Girl Boss Alisa Ueno
Alisa Ueno in conversation with Sarah Lim
Wesnesday, August 30 | 6:30pm – 8pm (doors open 6pm)

From model to fashion designer, Alisa Ueno pioneered ‘Neo-Gal’, Tokyo’s new fashion genre based on her original style. In this talk with emerging local creative talent Sarah Lim, Alisa will discuss her fashion career and the Tokyo’s changing trends from the eyes of a Tokyo native.

Sharp and Boyish: Male Aesthetics and Self-hood in Contemporary Japanese Culture
By Masafumi Monden
Thursday, September 7 | 6:30pm – 8pm (doors open 6pm)

One of the dominant modes of ideal male beauty in contemporary Japan differs from the generalized Western ideal of muscularity in being slender, shōnen-like (boyish), and predominantly kawaii (cute). This kawaii masculinity is omnipresent in contemporary Japanese culture, from advertising to TV programs, from magazines to fashion media, articulating its potential influence upon contemporary Japanese men. This talk will attempt to examine a particular sector of the significance of this boyish male beauty in contemporary Japanese culture – namely the intersections between masculinity, body, fashion and self-hood. It argues that the significance of such a male beauty lies in the possibility that representations of “masculinity” embodied by these men might both reflect and shape certain ideals and ideas of gender, which are consumed by men in Japan.

Film

Sailor Moon R: The Movie
Tuesday, August 22 | 6:30pm start

Long before Mamoru found his destiny with Usagi, he gave a single rose in thanks to a lonely boy who helped him recover from the crash that claimed his parents. This long-forgotten friend, Fiore, has been searching the galaxy for a flower worthy of that sweet gesture long ago. The mysterious flower he finds is beautiful, but has a dark side- it has the power to take over planets. To make matters worse, the strange plant is tied to an ominous new asteroid near Earth! Faced with an enemy blooming out of control, it’s up to Sailor Moon and the Sailor Guardians to band together, stop the impending destruction and save Mamoru!

Admission is free. In Japanese with English Subtitles.

1993 | 90 mins| Director: Kunihiko Ikuhara | Classification: PG

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©1993 Toei Animation Co., Ltd. ©Naoko Takeuchi/PNP, Toei Animation

ABOUT SHOICHI AOKI

Aoki began taking street style photography in London in the 80s, where the nonconformist punk aesthetic was challenging the mainstream. Upon returning to Tokyo, he launched STREET Magazine, sharing the foreign street style with younger Japanese readers. Aoki cites the social melting pot which spawned the eclecticism of the FRUiTS aesthetic as linked with Harajuku’s former Hokoten ‘pedestrian paradise ‘environment, which handed over the space to young people by restricting vehicle access on Sundays. Though removed in mid ’97, the impact of this period had already established Harajuku as a haven for self-expression and experimentation, and Aoki carefully documented this for the following 20 years. Shoichi Aoki also leads Japanese publications TUNE (menswear) and STREET (international).

ABOUT MEGAN CATHERINE ROSE

Megan is a PhD Candidate at the School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales Australia. She specialises in kawaii fashion communities in Tokyo, and has 5 years’ experience in the field working with models, designers and participants in Lolita Fashion, Decora, Shironuri, Fairy Kei and Gyaru communities.

ABOUT ALISA UENO

Alisa Ueno, Japan’s ‘It Girl’, is at the forefront of Tokyo’s youth culture as the creative director and designer of the clothing brand, FIG&VIPER. With beginnings in modelling, Alisa’s creative flair began a new fashion movement, ‘Neo-Gal’, mirroring her original hair styling, makeup and fashion. Inspiring youths in Japan and abroad, she has been an ambassador for major labels, including Yves Saint Laurent and Fendi. Alisa’s talents also flow into the music sphere. She is a professional DJ and artist who has performed at festivals and clubs worldwide, as well as other prestigious events around Tokyo.

ABOUT MASAFUMI MONDEN

Masafumi Monden is a postdoctoral researcher, specialising in Japanese fashion and culture. He gives lectures and publishes widely in the areas of men’s and women’s clothing, Japan, art, youth and popular culture. His first book, published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2015, entitled Japanese Fashion Cultures: Dress and Gender in Contemporary Japan, details the relationship between fashion, culture and gender within contemporary Japan, and its relevance to an increasingly transcultural world. He is currently conducting research on cultural imaginations of Japanese girlhood and boyhood, and cultural history of fashion and the body in modern Japan. He is a recent recipient of the Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellowship (2016-17) and The National Library of Australia Fellowship in Japan Studies (2017).

Editor’s Notes
  • Images on this webpage can be used for editorial purposes.
  • For high-resolution images, please contact us.

Venue

The Japan Foundation Gallery
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008
(Access via lifts)

Gallery Hours

Mon-Thu: 10am-8pm
Fri: 10am-6pm
Sat*: 10am-1pm

Closed *Saturday (Sep 9), Sundays and Public Holidays (Aug 11)

Media Enquiries

Jessica Chow
(02) 8239 0055

Admission

All events are free. No bookings required.

Doors open 30 mins before the events start.

General Enquiries

(02) 8239 0055

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