A Look at the 2015 Student Art Festival “GAKUTEN”

A Look at the 2015 Student Art Festival “GAKUTEN”

written by kawacura

Recently our intrepid Japanese reporters flocked to the 2015 Student Art Festival “GAKUTEN” to see firsthand at what lies in wait for the future of Japanese design, fashion and art. But before we delve into the intricacies of inspiration that was indulged in, first a quick introduction of our valiant core Japanese writing team who attended the event.

kuma “Kuma” : With a love of gothic fashion, Kuma-san is an avid photographer and staff writer. In her early thirties she maintains a youthful exuberance whilst still being a respected, responsible householder despite her staple diet being Chūhai!

yabu “Yabu No Usagi” : Often contracted to “The Rabbit” Yabu-san is a keen and enthusiastic Lolita fashion journalist. Quoted as being a joker who often has the last laugh, Yabu is quick on the draw and fast with the wit, perhaps due to her stable diet of tako-yaki (fried octopus balls).

naka “Naka.D.” : Actually the eldest of the core three, in reality she is the youngest looking! Naka.D is also the biggest fan of all things kawaii, within the team.

mori  Mori.P : The enchanting leader of the team and a true mentor and master of kawaii! (´◔ਊ◔`)

Whilst despite there being many, many other proliferate core members of the KawaCura team for this report, these four were tasked with reporting for you the essence of the 2015 Student Art Festival “GAKUTEN”.

The Design Festa : Gakuten


The annual event of the Design Festa Gakuten is a glorious affair that absolutely anyone can attend. Whilst established as a gathering of design students to coordinate and collectively inspire each other, the event is open for all who are looking for something to learn or a new challenge in life. Yet with the majority of participates being university students or below – the event was filled with a rare energetic young, youthful power!


All Student Art Festival GAKUTEN 2015 is to be held on Saturday, August 8th and Sunday, August 9th at Tokyo Big Sight’s West Hall #2! The summer art festival for students, GAKUTEN welcomes technical school students, elementary school students, part-time students, university students, high school students and self-taught students regardless of age and nationality!

Make Friends from All Over the World

GAKUTEN is a prime opportunity to meet and greet with artists you may have otherwise never come into contact with and significantly broaden your horizons. GAKUTEN also organizes exhibitor parties leading up to the event, as well as on the evening of the event’s first day to provide as many opportunities as possible for student artists to network and to make new friends.

Illustration, Photography, Music: All Forms of Expression Welcome

No matter your preferred form of artistic expression, any individual learning anything is welcome to participate at GAKUTEN. Expect paintings, sculpture, illustration, postcards, accessories, fashion design, cinema, music and the unexpected!



An Insight to the University.

Bunka Gakuen University and the Junior College were established in 1950 as Bunka Women’s Junior College, and along with more than half a century of history and tradition, we have cultivated a unique educational philosophy as pioneers in the study of fashion and lifestyle/creative fields. The field of learning was further expanded in 1991 when the Department of Intercultural Studies and the Department of English Language and Literature were established in the Faculty of Literature, as well as the 2000 establishment of the Department of Health Psychology in the same Faculty. In the same year, the Faculty of Home Economics was divided into the Faculty of Fashion Science and the Faculty of Art and Design. At present, together with the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Junior College, the University leads Japan’s research and development in the fields of fashion, art and design, and living environments, as well as cultivating human resources capable of responding to the challenges of society’s ongoing globalization.

As a comprehensive educational institution with the establishment of its Graduate Schools and Junior College, as well as an affiliated high school, junior high school, and kindergarten, Bunka Gakuen University has established its own education and research system—the subject of increasingly great expectations from the community in recent years. With the institution’s name change to Bunka Gakuen University and Bunka Gakuen University Junior College in 2011 and the start of co-education in all undergraduate departments in 2012,and Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences was relocated from Kodaira campus to the campus in Shinjuku New Urban City, we have taken some major steps toward the future.


The Bunka Gakuen University of Art

Upon entering the event the eyes of our reporters immediately widened as they darted from each individualistic, expressive design booths of the Bunka Gakuen University of Art.


Due to the immense popularity of the event, the venue was incredibly crowded!






The variety of diverse works, accessories, badges, bags and items were full of unique personality! ♬

Comments from “Yabu No Usagi” (The Rabbit)

With over 50 volunteers and students of the Bunka Gakuen University of Art presenting exhibited works, the urge to also create something unique and beautiful was intense! The range of beautiful pieces were so vast that constant murmurings of “Ah kawaii~!” & “Ah, I want this!!” were cheerfully heard throughout the event. ♡

Booth Name: Bunka Gakuen University of Art


Undergraduates of the Aoyama Drafting College of Interior Design



Undergraduates of the Aoyama Draftsman College of Vocational Interior Design carried out an exhibition of art using only straws. Mori.P also tried his hand at creating a face! ٩(・ิᴗ・ิ๑)

Comments from “Yabu No Usagi” (The Rabbit)

From a distance the piece looked like chunks of sponges yet when viewed up close a surprising number of straws come to light. Even more delightful than the artistic image of the piece is that the art changes in shape and dynamics when the straws are pushed or pulled in either direction.
At this event it seemed that students that usually study residential or commercial interior design who equally adept at planning and production or the art festival.
Another highlight of the straw art was the fact that transparency through the straws allows for visuals from the front and back can be viewed through the piece. This creation of light and design mixed with fun was a huge crowd pleaser. ♪

Booth Name : Undergraduates of the Aoyama Draftsman College of Vocational Interior Design


Intricate Artwork





With a naturalistic, Victorian feel of freshly cut lawn ribbons and nutty, woody, possibly poisonous mushrooms, this booth was created by two very cute and awe-inspiring leaders of the kawaii movement!

Comments from “Yabu No Usagi” (The Rabbit)

The nostalgic cuteness of this booth was inspired by “Komagome Pipette” a cute little character who apparently stuck a feather in a piece of coral.   The two artists of these works both have a profound love of nature and natural objects which was the underlying theme to the range, as can be easily seen in the grass bowties, which were super cute! So if wanting to know more on these wearable nature pieces then be sure to check out Twitter today!

Booth Name : Komagome


Small Gifts & Souvenirs




The reoccurring theme and motif spawning this range of cute souvenirs and accessories was that of the sea and nautical mermaid. ♬

Comments from “Yabu No Usagi” (The Rabbit)

A sparkling summer and the freshness of a glittering summer sea was the inspiration here, and was successfully very refreshing! ♪
Utilizing hand dyed pieces of felt, all of the intricate pieces were truly achievements of all that the creators had learned in design school, along with their own personal imagination and desires! Well Done! On a side note, the creator of these pieces was also providing illustrations of his work as an exhibition at the event, so if present for the next convention, be sure to visit this talented creator!

Created By : The four Illustrators of the Tama Art University, Department of Textiles.

( Twitter  @uneune_ge )

Booth Name : Small Gifts.

Mignonne Monde






Mignonne Monde is so full of cute dreamy works of art that even the astute Yabu-san bought an injection necklace that could magically transform the wearer into a “Sailor Moon” style super hero with magical powers! ☆

Comments from “Yabu No Usagi” (The Rabbit)

With the brand name of Mignonne Monde stemming from the French translation of “Cute-World”, the designer Yukino-san perfectly labeled his art and works of cuteness! It was with this cuteness that the popular and sultry charm of the “syringe of pink・purple” necklace caught my eye, I am very eager to match it with an adequate Lolita outfit.

Booth Name:Mignonne Monde






With various artists contributing there was a wide selection of assorted hedgehog goods available. ☆
All of the products were so cute and heart-warming that that could cure if the saddest of hearts!

For more kawaii hedgehog snaps, check out Matome Naver.

Comments from “Yabu No Usagi” (The Rabbit)

The pieces on display were so cute and realistic that they appear to have been modelled after real living hedgehogs with each piece containing an expressive emotion! ♪
This cute hedgehog series features glass cups, photo albums, pottery, boards and much more! So adorable were they that I want to see them always!

Booth Name:Hedgehog






The penazoh booth was made up of a collaboration of students attending the Design Festa. Here Yabu-san was again immensely excited by the designs and even went back for a second visit after already leaving through the gates.

Comments from “Yabu No Usagi” (The Rabbit)

At this booth four designers partnered up to create a theme of “Collectively Not” which oxymoronically was a collection of each solo designers take on the design of “the individual as an individual within a group”. This juxtaposition is actual very prevalent within the Japanese “Honne / Tatemae” culture and here the pieces on display equally flowed very harmoniously.
Creating pieces and accessories from everyday scrap materials, the entire range was very thought provoking and rewarding, which is my I returned for another closer inspection! ♪

Booth Name:penazoh







So SOOOO cute!!! The cat within the hat!! Featured in Japanese art, the rock style painting is so wonderfully impressive!

Comments from “Yabu No Usagi” (The Rabbit)

Whilst RYUCA-san originally started out as an impressionist painter, she later came to learn the subtle art of traditional Japanese painting, which technically is quite unique. Thus using a variety of styles and methods, which include ball-point pen artwork, her iconic, edgy character of Alfred-kun was created. So popular has Alfred-kun become that a range of T-shirts, goods and painting are available through mail order on the official website, so be sure to check it out today!

Booth Name:RYUCA


Project Nami-Nami





Project Nami-Nami embodies a truly distinctive, super cute essence unique throughout the world!

Such cute characters! (∗ ˊωˋ ∗)

Comments from “Yabu No Usagi” (The Rabbit)

The re-occurring motif of the young girl is interestingly both lovely yet also a little bit strange at the same time, right? This booth was hosted by two designers who appear to hail from the Kansai region that both have a love of cute organisms.

Whilst at this time it seems there is no active online mail ordering system, Project Nami-Nami appears to be very active in various events nationwide, so if you ever come across one of their stalls, make sure to pay full attention and pick up something for yourself or for that special something. The two members of the project were very bright, bubbly and nice and was extremely nice to talk to! Thank you! ♪

Booth Name:Project Nami-Nami





The booth of Gashimazin was the hands down favorite of Kuma-san who quoted the experience as that of being love at first sight.


The finished product!


“I love this panda piece so much!” Exclaimed Kuma-san. “But unfortunately this poster panda was not available for sale. So looking forward to this hopefully being available at some time! I want it!!!!”


These are last ones of each of these illustrated badges. Whilst I thought we had enough of them, they all, especially the wolf sold out incredibly quickly! I will bring more to tomorrow’s event, yet if not wanting to miss out, please come by as early as possible!


“Ahh, I wish I had noticed this handsome wolf sooner! It truly is a shame that as they had already sold out …_:(´ཀ`」 ∠):_ “ mentions Kuma-san as she purchased a tiger and rabbit illustrated postcode and mask of which she was eagerly anticipating decorating her room with.

Booth Name:Gashimazin


In Summary

Hopefully you have all enjoyed our special report of the Gaku-ten Design Festival and all of the young youthful artistic creators that were featured. If so, be sure to attend next year’s event which is scheduled for;

Saturday the 6th  and Sunday the 7th  of August 2016.

So for lovers of art and design, do yourself a favor and get in quick as to not miss out! In regards to students – study hard, practice your talents and yearn for your unique inspiration to solidify your individual voice and content and make sure you apply early as we are all eagerly looking forward to seeing what you have to offer at next year’s event!


Lastly we would thank to extend our most heartfelt gratitude and thanks to all staff, creators, artists and administrators who kindly agreed to open up for interviews and photography, Thank You!

Event Outline

Event Title All Student Art Festival GAKUTEN 2015
Details An art and performance festival and open campus opportunity for students.
Participation Requirements Open to individuals of all ages pursuing any field of study
Venue Tokyo Big Sight West Hall #2
Dates Saturday, August 8th and Sunday, August 9th, 2015, 11am to 7pm
Exhibition Booths Approximately 1,000
Admission Fee ¥800 in advance, ¥1,000 at the door.