The Doraemon Exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore is finally here to bring fans through the character’s past, present and future.
Gawk at original manga drawings and contemporary artworks by respectable Japanese and local artists, or grab a Dorayaki at a popup cafe and bring home merchandise of one of Japan’s most beloved characters at the exhibition opening tomorrow till Feb. 5 next year.
“We are celebrating this beloved character across borders and generations with the first Singapore edition of The Doraemon Exhibition and we hope that as visitors experience the unique artworks alongside the original manga sketches, they will be inspired to embark on their own creative journeys as they contemplate their own memories of Doraemon,” Yuki Imamura, Director of Leyouki, the exhibition’s organizer, wrote in a news release.
This is the first Doraemon exhibition to be held outside Japan. It was first held in 2002 and then again in 2017 in Japan.
Doraemon debuted in a Japanese manga series in 1970 that is written and illustrated by the late creator Fujiko F Fujio.
The manga was then adapted into an anime series which sparked immense popularity worldwide.
The exhibition features 40 contemporary artworks from 28 contemporary artists asked to interpret Doraemon based on their personal memories and relate them to the modern world.
The works which range from paintings and sculptures to graphics and photography are sectioned into two acts.
The first features 27 interpretation works of the Japanese robot cat. Two of famed Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s acrylic canvases in his iconic vibrant colors are exhibited, alongside photographer Mika Ninagawa’s series of photographs depicting a date with Doraemon, her “celebrity crush.”
Artworks of Doraemon’s younger sister Dorami looking intimidating by artist Yoshitomo Nara are also featured.
The second act showcases 13 works that take reference from Doraemon movies like Doraemon: Nobita’s Great Adventure into the Underworld and Doraemon: Nobita and the Kingdom of Clouds.
Highlights include artist Sebastian Masuda’s eye-catching sculpture from Doraemon The Movie: Nobita‘s Dorabian Nights, and media artist Ryota Kuwakubo’s shadow play that casts skylines and scenes from Doraemon The Movie: Nobita in the Secret Gadgets Museum using day-to-day objects.
There’s also a trippy work from artist Akinori Goto that projects scenes from Doraemon The Movie: New Records of Nobita‘s Spaceblazer.
Outside the entrances of Acts 1 and 2 are works from two local artists commissioned. Contemporary artist Jahan Loh’s Intergalactic Voyagers is a brass sculpture that is based on how Doraemon accompanied Loh through different stages of life. His two other prints fuse teleportation and space.
Singaporean photographer Leslie Kee’s Imagine is a collaboration between nine models wearing clothing from Thom Browne’s Fall 2022 collection. The portraits are in tinted blue, a color associated with Doraemon and also the artist’s favorite color.
On the ground floor, there is an exclusive section dedicated to the manga titled Manga Doraemon Original Drawings Exhibition which comprises 75 drawings and sketches by the late Mr Fujimoto that is loaned from his museum in Japan.
The drawings explore the beginnings of Doraemon and his friends and relay stories behind his gadgets like the ‘Memory Bread’ and the ‘Lying Mirror.’
Fujimoto’s desk, drawing tools and personal favorites are also laid out on display. Sketches showing his manga process are also showcased.
Sneak a taste of Japan at the Doraemon-themed popup cafe in the basement selling Dorayaki (S$6.90), stuffed pancakes with azuki bean paste, in collaboration with Toraya, a veteran Japanese confectionary.
Everything Doraemon in tote bags, mugs, and stationery items, among others, are also available in the merchandise store.
Tickets are priced at S$30 for adults, S$25 for those under 18 years old and free for those under 6 years old.
The Doraemon Exhibition Singapore 2022
Open 10am to 7pm daily (last admission at 6:30pm)
National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897