Misaki Kawai

Moko Moko Club

Stavanger Art Museum, Norway

May 25, 2024 - March 2nd, 2025

In the ‘Moko Moko Club’ exhibition, visitors can get to know various creatures from Misaki Kawai’s artistic universe. The giant sculpture ‘Arty’ is a dog that visitors can pet and comb with the help of large combs. The exhibition also features a never-before-seen film with specially composed music. In the museum workshop, Studio NONA, it is possible to participate in creative activities developed in collaboration with the artist. Various workshops on the production of costumes, puppets, animation and electronic music production will be held throughout the exhibition.

Misaki Kawai’s colourful and fantastic world is inspired by children’s play and creative expression, a philosophy she calls ‘Art for Play’. The artist cultivates play and creativity in everyday life and opens up new ways of experiencing art. Friendly animals and strange creatures are the protagonists of her art. They have a distinct character and are created with care and humour.

The works create a fantasy world that may seem childlike and dreamlike, but is closely linked to an international hybrid culture. Misaki Kawai’s art draws on both the world of pop art and contemporary Japanese culture. Her expression plays on the interest in the sweetness of Japanese culture, the so-called ‘kawaii’, and the ‘Heta-uma’ style, which can be translated as ‘naughty but good’. The underground ‘Heta-uma’ movement was a reaction against the refined style of official manga in 1970s Japan and used a deliberately naive and ‘ugly’ idiom.

‘Moko Moko’ means ‘soft’. It is a so-called onomatopoeic word – a word that paints or reduces sound. Such words are common in the Japanese language, but can be found in most languages. Words that describe the sounds of objects or animals are typical onomatopoeic words, such as meow, woof or pling. ‘Moko Moko’ is the description of Misaki’s soft and furry sculptures. It is a club of fluffy animals that you can join!

Misaki Kawai was born in 1978 in Kagawa, Japan, and grew up in Osaka. She divides her time between East Asia, the USA and Denmark and has an extensive international exhibition schedule. Misaki Kawai works in a variety of media and materials, from interactive plush and artificial fur sculptures to painting, drawing and textiles. Her works are characterised by a low-tech ‘hobby aesthetic’ and are colourful, sumptuous and humorous. He collects objects and materials from his travels and incorporates them into his work. Electronic music and videos are also part of his artistic practice, as is the design of clothing collections, utility items and artist’s books. ‘Moko Moko’ Club is Misaki Kawai’s first exhibition in Norway.


– Misaki Kawai | Moko Moko Club, https://www.stavangerkunstmuseum.no/events/misaki-kawai, Stavanger Kunstmuseum, data di consultazione 30 maggio 2024
– Photo Credit, https://www.stavangerkunstmuseum.no/events/misaki-kawai