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Sebastian Masuda

Artist and designer Sebastian Masuda (1970) is the founder of and visionary behind the Japanese label 6% Doki Doki. He is the icon of Japan’s kawaii movement and his creative influence is visible from the streets of the Harajuku district in Tokyo to the Pon Pon Pon music video released by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. He sees it as his mission to help people reconnect with the sense of wonder they experienced as a child and does this by promoting kawaii culture from his head office in Harajuku, Tokyo.

He creates paintings and 3-dimensional objects. He works with a range of materials, such as toys and jewellery, and uses various media. His work is an explosion of colour. He draws inspiration from his own childhood memories, shopping malls, the cinema, the west coast of the US in the 1990s and the colourful culture on the streets of Harajuku.

Inspired by the poet Shuji Terayama, in 1990 he entered the world of theatre and contemporary art. Despite having no training in fashion, he is fascinated by the human phenomenon of fashion. In 1995 he opened his first 6% Doki Doki store, which presented the concept of Sensational Lovely (later: Sensational Kawaii). In 2009 he organised the Harajuku Kawaii Experience World Tour to promote Harajuku kawaii culture throughout the world. In 2011 he was responsible for the art direction of Kyari Pamyu Pamyu’s Pon Pon Pon music video and used his personal collection of colourful and unique objects for the styling, which attracted a great deal of attention in Japan and other countries.

In 2012 he was art director on the set of the musical The Wiz, which retells the story of The Wizard of Oz. He also oversaw the art direction of the NTV production PON! and art directed several commercials, including Glico's Aisu No Mi (Ice Kiss) campaign. From then on, he devoted more of his time to his activities as art director. In 2014 he made his debut with a solo exhibition in New York and directed his first film, The Nutcracker. Through Harajuku kawaii culture he is now expanding his activities as an artist and art director to the world stage.
Colorful Rebellion - Harajuku Miffy
‘My Colorful Rebellion – Harajuku Miffy is a colourful imaginative response that arises from deep within her. The statue shows what happens in Miffy’s imagination when she encounters the rich urban culture of Harajuku, a city of freedom and the cradle of a new culture.’