Otaku Exhibit in Tokyo

posted on 2005-03-07 20:30 EST
Admission to "OTAKU" Exhibit Restricted Due to Popularity

"OTAKU: persona=space=city" an exhibit at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (SYABI) on February opened the 22nd and quickly became very popular.

Displaying otaku as an art form, a veritable culture, the exhibit was also a very popular topic, in Italy where it was originally displayed at the Japanese Hall of last autumn's Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition.

Being featured on last week's NHK art program "shin nichiyou bijutsukan" (New Sunday Art Gallery) added to the exhibit's popularity.

Combined with another popular exhibit, the "Bunkacho Media Geijitsu Sai" (Ministry of Culture Media Arts Festival), which drew over 10,000 visitors on the weekend, the immense popularity of "OTAKU" drew such immense crowds of visitors to the Museum this weekend that it was no longer possible to enter the museum itself, even if visitors were interested in viewing one of the other less popular exhibits.

The museum has since implemented a queuing system, with visitors to the OTAKU exhibit waiting over an hour to enter the museum. OTAKU is on display until march 13th and is expected to remain just very popular until it is closed.

The exhibit displays the different dwelling places of otaku: an otaku's home; comic market, visited by hundreds of thousands of otaku; the urban area of Akihabara and cyber space. The walls and floors are comprised of pitures of anime icons. The is said not to "display the otaku as an object or a piece of art, but as a crossing concept with the persona as its starting point."

The website for OTAKU: persona=space=city is here. It includes a virtual tour of the exhibit itself (here), a section on terminology (with English translations), and more.

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