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London gets ‘CUTE’: Why an exhibition all about cuteness is getting us excited for 2024

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A landmark exhibition will open in London in January, examining toys, emojis, video games and more, to better explore how cuteness influences culture and society. And yes, cats are a main theme.

ANNOUNCEMENT

“I don’t get cute, I get damn gorgeous.”

Food for thought from American drag performer and choreographer Alyssa Edwards, who may not be as enthusiastic as we are about an upcoming London exhibition that will focus less on beauty and more on sweetness. Exclusively, in fact.

Indeed, if there’s one exhibition to mark in your calendars for the first quarter of 2024, it’s the new exhibition at Somerset House, which will explore how sweetness influences culture and society.

It’s simply – and appropriately – titled ‘CUTE’ and will open on 25 January 2024.

Curated by Claire Catterall, senior curator at Somerset House, the exhibition will examine everything from emojis to internet memes, video games to soft toys and food, bringing together contemporary artists from a variety of disciplines to explore our relationship with lovely aesthetic.

‘CUTE’ promises to be “a seminal exhibition exploring the irresistible force of cuteness in contemporary culture” that will “examine the world’s embrace of cute culture and how it has become such an influential measure of our times.”

Contributing artists include Mike Kelley, Yumeji Takehisa, Aya Takano, Ado Mizumori, Juliana Huxtable, Wong Ping, Rachel Maclean, Ram Ham and more.

One we’re particularly excited about is multidisciplinary artist Hannah Diamond’s immersive visual and sound musical installation.

Inspired by a girl’s sleepover, with a curated collection of videos from the likes of SOPHIE, Charli XCX, AG Cook, GFOTY, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Felicita and more, as well as Diamond herself, the artist brings her affirmative vision of hyper pink adolescence to showcase the best of cute electronic dance music.

As you can probably imagine, cats will play an important role in “CUTE” and Somerset, in collaboration with Sanrio, will also celebrate Hello Kitty’s 50th anniversary.

The ultimate cute icon for some; a Kawaii agent who greets with the cold, dull eyes of a murderer for others.

There will be an entire section dedicated to Hello Kitty, with an exhibition of Kitty through the ages, a space dedicated to soft toys and a disco.

You read it right. Even though we all know that cats prefer meowing.

“CUTE” will be on display from January 25th to April 14th at Somerset House.

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