Created by Fujiko F. Fujio in 1969, the iconic robot cat Doraemon has enjoyed its status as one of the most beloved and recognizable characters in Japanese manga for more than half a century. Originally held in Tokyo in 2002 and revived in 2017, The Doraemon Exhibition Singapore 2022 is open to the public outside Japan for the first time ever. On view at the National Museum in Singapore through February 5, 2023, this exhibition explores Doraemon’s present, past, and future through contemporary art, original drawings and sketches by its creator, a themed cafe, and limited-edition merchandise.
Doraemon’s massive cultural influence is evident in the section of the exhibition that showcases work by 28 leading contemporary Japanese artists, among them Akinori Goto, Tomoko Konoike, Sebastian Masuda, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, and Mika Ninagawa. Some artists responded to the prompt “Create Your Own Original Doraemon” while others chose to interpret the character through references to their favorite Doraemon movies, such as Doraemon: Nobita’s Adventure into the Underworld and Doraemon: Nobita and the Kingdom of Clouds.
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Two Singaporean artists, Jahan Loh and Leslie Kee, were specially commissioned to create their own versions of Doraemon for this edition of the exhibition. Loh’s multimedia contribution, My Journey with Doraemon, takes one of the character’s magical devices as a launchpad to explore ideas of teleportation and intergalactic travel while Kee’s series of blue-tinted portraits, IMAGINE, which envisions a world of ‘Love, Peace, One, You, Me, Doraemon’, is intended as playful commentary on fashion, beauty, and difference.
In “MANGA DORAEMON Original Drawings Exhibition,” fans can immerse themselves in Doraemon’s humble beginnings. On loan from the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum in Japan, 75 drawings and sketches — 127 panels in total — by Doraemon’s creator are publicly on view for the first time in an international setting. These formative illustrations tell the origin stories of Doraemon and friends, and offer insight into some of the character’s famous gadgets, like the “Memory Bread” and the “Lying Mirror.” Select highlights from the Doraemon movie series are also playing in this part of the show.
After exploring the exhibition, visitors are invited to enjoy a Doraemon-themed cafe experience. Created in collaboration with Toraya, a historic Japanese wagashi company that’s been in operation since the 16th century, the Singapore-exclusive dorayaki set offered is inspired by Doraemon’s favorite snack. Other treats imported from Japan are available as well. Those looking to bring home a lasting piece of the show can shop Doraemon collectibles, plus merchandise exclusive to The Doraemon Exhibition Singapore 2022 and the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum. Tote bags, mugs, and stationery are among the many items on sale.
On view at the National Museum of Singapore through February 5, 2023, The Doraemon Exhibition Singapore 2022 is open to the public daily from 10am to 7pm (SGT).
This exhibition is presented by Leyouki with support from the National Museum of Singapore and Singapore Tourism Board.