Kaiyodo: Mini Artworks for the Modern Age
Since 1964, the Japanese toy manufacturing company Kaiyodo has produced tiny works of art. Known for their extreme detail and miniscule detachable parts, each figure is painstakingly designed, molded, and hand-painted. Kaiyodo’s bottle-cap and action figures are highly desired items by toy collectors, particularly models from the early 2000s. Some come with a unique serial number in a limited-edition set, making them like an artist print; however, unlike more mainstream works of art, Kaiyodo’s objects are found in a wide variety of everyday locations, from candy boxes to vending machines in stores as well as airports, museums and zoos.
Kaiyodo has worked with some of the top Japanese artists in the world such as Takashi Murakami (founder of the Superflat movement), Osamu Tezuka (creator of Astro Boy), and Enoki Tomohide (a sculptor of Pokémon) to bring characters typically seen on screen or a page to life in three dimensions. Traditionally inspired by manga or anime, Kaiyodo has expanded their scope to include animals, history, and even food, all celebrating the bright and bold nature of Japanese culture.
The Fort Wayne Museum of Art would like to give special thanks to Terry R. Myers, who gifted this Kaiyodo collection to us. To read more about Myers’ journey collecting the figures, and his affinity for them, please see his statement in the corresponding exhibition folder.
This exhibition opened September 21, 2021 and is an on-going exhibition.