Sunday, May 4, 2014

Art of Godzilla - Yuji Kaida Exhibition + Signing 開田裕治 原画展

In Ginza, Cheepa's Gallery has an ongoing exhibition of the works of fantasy and kaiju artist extraordinaire Yuji Kaida ( 開田裕治). The show is entitled Art of Godzilla: Kaida Yuji Original Exhibition. On display are dozens of works by Kaida-san, a commercial artist who has created images for books, magazines, and comics (including Dark Horse's Gamera), as well as packaging artwork for video games such as Sega's Snatcher and Daimakaimura - aka Ghouls 'n Ghosts. He has also provided the packaging artwork for numerous toy lines, including Zoids, Gundam, Macross, and of course Godzilla.

The show wraps on May 6, so to put a cap on the festivities, the gallery hosted Kaida-san for a signing session. The core of the kaiju-themed exhibition is a display of fantastic works by Kaida-san of Godzilla, Mothra, Gigan, and others. There's also a shop selling exclusive toy releases by Marusan (including a lovely blank GID 450 series Godzilla), in addition to post cards, cloth prints, and a new book featuring Kaida-san's art.

Photography was largely restricted, but I was able to take some shots.
Poster advertising Kaida-san's new book.

Two of the post card sets for sale.
 More after the jump:

Yuji Kaida
I was able to exchange a few words with Kaida-san. I asked him if he used any computer programs when illustrating, and indeed, in recent years he has used Photoshop - to glorious effect, I'd add. Check out this King Ghidorah!
A4 file holder

I also asked if he did any illustration work for the new Godzilla 2014 movie, but alas he wasn't involved with the film.

This was one of the few areas that could be photographed - a Masterpiece Kawakita Godzilla with a diorama background by Kaida-san. I believe they are taking pre-orders for 300,000 yen (regular price: 330,000 yen) per figure.

Dimensions: 1030 x 450 x 1470 mm.

Click here for the seller's website.

Show flyer front

Show flyer back
 Here are some shots of the first floor coffee shop

The walls are lined with chogokin and vintage tin toys.

Cheepa's Cafe is located at: Ginza 7-12-15, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061. It's a nice place to hang out and enjoy the toy deco.
The Ginza exhibition focused on Godzilla-related works by Yuji Kaida, but he is known for so much more, and Kaida-san clearly has a legion of fans. It's striking how many sites not only contain images of his work (for video games, box art, etc.) but also make a point of noting that Kaida-san is behind the images. That's high, well-deserved praise at a time when many commercial packaging artists are anonymous. Click here and here for a couple of galleries of Kaida-san's work.

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