Once in a while, something catches you entirely off guard. It could be a catchy tune from a band you previously loathed, an unlikely food combo like melted chocolate on cheese pizza, or for us most recently, Disney’s iconic and loveable Mickey Mouse in nightmarish psychedelic pop art.
“Mickey’s Japan Tourism” by Japanese multimedia artist, graphic designer, video artist, and illustrator Keiichi Tanaami
The near-flashback-triggering encounter occurred in Shanghai’s Yuz Museum, which is currently hosting the “Mickey: The True Original & Ever Curious” art exhibition until October 10.
The showcase is an evolution of previous “Mickey: The True Original” exhibitions in New York (2018) and Tokyo (2020) and features Mickey Mouse-inspired artwork in different mediums, including paintings, calligraphy, sculptures, installations, and digital formats. Artists from around the globe created the pieces on display, and works by 23 Chinese artists are featured prominently.
While we walked into the event expecting it to cater exclusively to children and the young-at-heart, we were pleasantly surprised by the incredible variety of visual experiences: from psychedelic Mickeys seemingly stolen from a Peruvian ayahuasca shaman’s dreams to anime-inspired Mickeys, neon Mickeys, and Mickeys with Chinese characteristics.
The exhibition also features several audio-visual encounters, such as Noise Temple’s “Tanzmaus-808” — a room of screens playing footage of digitized Mickeys to face-melting electronic music.
Check out a selection of the artworks below:
While the text above may have you believe otherwise, “Mickey: The True Original & Ever Curious” is for people of all ages. After concluding in Shanghai, the exhibition will travel to Chengdu, Shenzhen, and Beijing.
All photos by Matt Bossons for RADII
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