Designer Toys, Art & Pop Culture

Hungry Hamster Invades Chicago

The Hungry Hamsters are invading Chicago this Saturday!

The Hungry Hamster is a representation of greed you see in everyday artists and its ecosystem. Each of them has a story to be told and hold on to a half-eaten "munchie," giving you a hint of the little desires they so wish for.

Conceived as both a digital and physical collectible, Hungry Hamster is the brainchild of Singapore-based creative Freddy Lim, along with Taketo Kobayashi, and Oasim Karmieh. The digital collectible release of 5,555 NFTs found the Hungry Hamster eating it's way into the hearts of fans in December, and now the vinyl figure is poised to chew it's way into the homes of a few hundred humans and begin it's global domination!

We've enlisted the help of 20 artists from Chicago and beyond to create custom versions and help celebrate the official release of the first two figures in the Hungry Hamster Art Toy Genesis Collection: the Original Hungry Hamster vinyl figure with it's trademark H logo munchie (edition of 300), plus the sick black and gold "An Evil Thought" version (edition of 200) with it's skull munchie.


Join us for the opening reception on Saturday, May 20, 6-8pm where you can meet Hungry Hamster Club founder and lead designer Freddy Lim who will be available to meet with fans and sign purchased figures — plus a special Deep House mix by Rotofugi Music Director Sean Doe! Free snacks and soft drinks, BYOB.

Custom Hamsters and vinyl figures will be available first to attendees of the opening reception of the exhibit, followed by an online release at rotofugi.com early in the following week, with custom figures being available first to our Gallery Previews Email List members. You can sign up at https://previews.rotofugi.com

Participating Artists: Ali Six – Bombastic Plastic/Neil Ewing – The Bots – BRAIN KILLER – Steve Bravo – ChrisRWK – Don Mega Art – Elloo – Freddy Lim — JIMBOT – Jeremiah Ketner — Max Nagata – Netherland – Ocean Muerto – One-Eyed Girl – Owlberry Lane – Reno Msad – Revise CMW – Shawnimals – Mr. Walters


HUNGRY HAMSTER Custom Show
May 20-June 18, 2023
Open 10am-6pm Daily

Opening Reception
Saturday, May 20, 6-8pm
Meet Hungry Hamster Club Founder Freddy Lim
Special Deep House Music Mix by Sean Doe
BYOB


UPDATE: Hungry Hamster vinyl figures are available now!

We're still working on listing the customs for sale online — sign up at https://previews.rotofugi.com to be notified when they are ready!


May Exhibit: CUPCO!? Returns!

Back in 2005 we were just a baby store and gallery, and we did some pretty cool handmade plush art shows, one curated by Bwana Spoons🤘, and another that was curated by Shawnimals❤️.

One of the coolest people we got to work with back then was CUPCO...an Australian artist living in Tokyo that made the sweetest plush art dolls. CUPCO made super clean and super clever stuff that drew on pop culture and Luke's sometimes twisted (in a good way) sensibilities. His work always had a sort of a punk rock meets meticulous arts and crafts vibe (mixed with a bit of cute) that we absolutely adored.

Not too long after that, Luke collaborated with Red Magic and produced a really stellar set of CI Boys, one of the early blind box series to come out of Hong Kong (2007) — but the last time he graced our wall's was another Shawnimals production, 2008's Plushform show. Luke continued to evolve as an artist over the years, making some amazing work in plush, but also exploring other handmade styles — always with a cool pop sensibility. But for whatever reason we never reconnected, despite remaining big fans of what he did.

So when Luke reached out again when we were in the middle of setting our 2023 exhibit schedule and inquired about putting on another exhibit, we immediately said yes.

In the years since we last showed him, Luke has branched out from his handmade plush dolls and has recently been exploring both soft sculpture like the mannequin style head seen here, but also beading on non-traditional materials. The results are equal parts impressive and bizarre, but always interesting and we're so happy to bring you this new show.

Be sure to sign up for the Gallery Previews List at http://previews.rotofugi.com for first online access to this and future exhibits. We're not entirely sure yet if we'll get a "preview" out before this exhibit opens Saturday but we're working on it — stay tuned!

CUPCOGO!
New Works by Cupco/Luke Temby
May 13-June 4, 2023
Open 10am-6pm Daily

Sorry, no opening reception this month. We'll be back shortly though with another exhibit this month that will have a reception — stay tuned.


About the Artist

CUPCO!? (aka XUPXO) is the brainchild of Australian artist Luke Temby. Born on the streets of Tokyo, CUPCO!? began as a street art project mixed with a proficiency in hand-made dolls and skateboarding. Over the years CUPCO!? has expanded into all kinds of media: exhibitions, illustration, animation, exquisite hand-made artworks and more.


Sonny Angel Swap Meet

The US is currently losing it's collective mind over the cute cherub from Japan, Sonny Angel...like, y'all, we are having a hard time keeping them in stock, and we're really trying. We just keep ordering more and more, and we still run out as fast as they can be imported from Japan.

We know that y'all probably have duplicates you'd like to trade with other collectors, and it's been a hot minute since we had a trading party....so, load up all your extra Sonny Angels and head to the store on Sunday, April 30th, 12noon-2pm for our very first Sonny Angel Swap Meet!

We'll have tables set up so you can spread out and show what you have for trade, name tags so you can make frens, free soft drinks and water, and probably some candy because Sonny is SO SWEET! 💙

And JUST IN CASE you still need some Sonny Angels, we are reserving a relatively small portion of our current stock of Sonny Angels JUST for this event! Chances are that we'd sell out before the Swap Meet if we don't — and we want folks that are new to the gloriously naked angel baby from Japan to have a chance to join in the fun too!

Sonny Angel Swap Meet Rules
1. Setup Starts at 11:30 — Trading at 12 Noon
2. No Selling — Trades Only Please
3. Be Nice — No One Likes a Meanie
4. Sonnys We Are Selling May be Limited

See you on April 30th at 2780 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago!

Rotofugi is an LGBTQ+ Safe Space 🏳️‍🌈


April Exhibit: Mr. Likey

Get ready for a mouth-watering new exhibit by Mr. Likey!

A master of the pop culture mashup, Mr. Likey often takes two or more well known pop culture characters and smashes them together with a comfort and style that is impressive. Born in Hong Kong, but raised in the US, Mr. Likey has worked and shown primarily in Asia until now, including a stunning immersive exhibit at Wrong Gallery in Beijing in 2022.

We are excited to be hosting an exhibit of new works built on Mr Likey's mashup of The Simpsons and The Care Bears — Donut Bears — his first US solo exhibit! We will have 36 pieces available, ranging in price from US $250 to $2000 each.

OPENING RECEPTION w/ DJ SEAN DOE
Join us the evening of Saturday, April 15, 6-8pm for an informal opening reception with light snacks, soft drinks, and DJ Sean Doe playing live! BYOB for alcohol.

Artworks will be available to purchase online via our Gallery Previews Email list…sign up at https://previews.rotofugi.com. In person sales at the gallery begin April 15.

Donut Bears
New Works by Mr. Likey
April 15-May 7, 2023
Open 10am-6pm Daily

Opening Reception
Saturday, April 15, 6-8pm

About the Artist
Growing up in the United States, Mr. Likey received his Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where his work was also awarded the “Gold Key Art Award”. Influenced by cartoons and street culture in the US, Mr. Likey is famous for his exceptional ability to recreate new art pieces with pop cultural symbols.  Mr. Likey has participated in numerous exhibitions in New York, Melbourne and Shanghai with solo exhibitions in Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing and Philippines previously.

March Exhibit: MUMBOT

We last exhibited MUMBOT in November 2017 as part of a five-person show…since then MUMBOT has been oh so busy, growing MUMBOT WORLD in every possible direction: original art, vinyl art toys, sofubi, resin figures, enamel pins, apparel, plush, and more!

But the biggest developments since we last had her art on our walls are a very active and successful endeavor issuing and selling digital collectibles (aka NFTs), founding the GHOST CLUB creative community, and having both an animated series and an indie video game in development! So to say we are excited to have our friend back is an understatement!

MEET MUMBOT! Join us the evening of Saturday, March 11, 6-8pm for an informal artist reception with light snacks, soft drinks, and music by DJ Sean Doe! BYOB for alcohol.

Artworks will be available to purchase beginning at 10am on March 11, in-person at the gallery, 2780 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago — and online via our Gallery Previews Email list…sign up at https://previews.rotofugi.com


Ghosting Through Life
New Works by MUMBOT
March 11-April 9, 2023
Open 10am-6pm Daily

Artist Reception
Saturday, March 11, 6-8pm


About the Artist

Jade Kuei, aka MUMBOT, is a NY/BKK-based artist, toy designer, storyteller & world builder.

In MUMBOT WORLD, MUMBOT has created not only a brand, but a whole magical world & lore where original characters: Aughostus the Ghost, Mossy the Moss Spirit, Shumi Mushrumi the Mushroom Spirit, Girl From the Forest Floor, Cryspu the Crystal Spirit, Skully Bones, and more characters come to life.

MUMBOT has built the brand from it's early stages--over 15 years ago drawing, painting, making zines, mini comics, hand sewing felt plush, hand sculpting/silicon mold making/resin casting in-house — to producing/manufacturing full collections of soft vinyl toys, sofubi, enamel pins, stickers, apparel, and plush!

One-of-one and limited edition digital collectibles have also played a huge role in building the artist's brand — MUMBOT has been operating in Web3 since early 2021, onboarding, building, and coming up with new ways to create cool stuff & innovate. As founder of the global creative community GHOST CLUB, MUMBOT continues to push further into the digital realm, while also still creating original artwork, apparel, and toys.

Looking forward, MUMBOT has a pilot for an animated series, as well as an indie game - the trailer for which is available to view on YouTube — as her next exciting expansion of MUMBOT WORLD. We can't wait to see what is next!


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