This May, fans of Kyo (DIR EN GREY, sukekiyo) had a rare peek into Kyo’s mind and collective works. Between his work as a vocalist in DIR EN GREY and sukekiyo; his fashion brands MADARANINGEN and DUMMY; his family of characters, The Zemeckises; and his poetry and photobook collections, it’s a wonder the artist has any free time at all. Still, he carved out some time to prepare an exhibit of his current works, titled “shikyuu de miru nou haisetsu.” It roughly translates to something like, “brain excretions seen from the uterus.” It’s a pretty gruesome name, but it shouldn’t surprise long-time fans.
The exhibit began on the sixth floor of Shibuya Le Deco, a multi-story gallery space in downtown Tokyo. While fans waited for doors to open, live footage from DIR EN GREY and sukekiyo performances were projected onto one of the walls. A large doll that could be straight from Alice in Wonderland—used previously as a prop in sukekiyo shows—rested against the wall by the screen. In another corner was the stamp pad that fans could use to add another stamp to their Kyo stamp book.
The fifth floor of Le Deco was dedicated to a preview of Kyo’s new photo book, Shikkaku ni (which you can preorder on Kyo’s official site here). Fans pushed their way past a red plastic curtain to a room in complete darkness. A staff member was on standby to hand fans flashlights. Fans walked through the room, shining their flashlights to reveal a series of portraits of Kyo – some with a dominating, monochrome color scheme, some with grotesque makeup, and some with vivid colors. Eerie background music made it all the spookier. The main attraction was a square white stand. Upon closer inspection, you’d find a white mold of Kyo’s face floating in fake blood. A sign indicated that fans were allowed to touch the mold, though few were brave enough to do so.
On the fourth floor, fans could step into the world of The Zemeckises. This series of Kyo-designed characters was first announced in 2013, but not much is known about them aside from the fact that they make regular appearances on Kyo merchandise. The Zemeckises exhibit gave fans a much clearer picture of the characters’ personalities. The room was filled with 3D stands of characters, and the walls were lined with huge illustrations. In some, the little ghost Penyu would be throwing candy into the air. In others, he would be devouring a human limb. Other focal points included an illustration of two characters wearing a literal human suit, a 3D model of a large eye, and four small and tilted televisions that played a short animation of The Zemeckis characters.
The lower floors of the exhibit were dedicated to merchandise and a pop-up store of MADARANINGEN and DUMMY. Fans seized this rare chance to pre-order Shikkaku ni, try a gacha gacha vending machine for The Zemeckises merchandise, and more. The three main floors of the exhibit displayed not only Kyo’s artist talent and sense of aesthetic, but also a taste of whimsy and darkness.