Culture & Eats: Sōtatsu Making Waves at Smithsonian Sackler Galleries

This past Sunday, DC KawaiiStyle with DC Metro Lolitas, and alongside Black Girls are Kawaii community had its first meet of the year, Culture and Eats. We gathered at Smithsonian Institution and prepared to visit the Sackler Gallery’s Sōtatsu Making Waves exhibit. Afterwards, we had brunch at Teaism in the Penn Quarter neighbourhood of DC. Japanese subculture fashions represented that day included Lolita, pop kei, gyaru, otome, and goth.


Smithsonian Institution (Smithsonian Castle)

To start the day, we all met at Smithsonian Castle. Our landmark was a place we had seen before~

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Playing the Waiting Game

As a kawaii community, we subscribe to the idea that we are never among strangers, everyone is a friend! However, we do like to know names, so while waiting we decided to chat and get to know someone we may not have seen at a meet before. This time, we also decided to gather in a circle and share our name and (at least) one cool thing about ourselves before heading off.

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dramatic lighting and modeling Vitamin Water with Flo & Quinn


Smithsonian Membership Mosaic

… or super cool selfie machine! 😀

The machine, which sits in the Smithsonian Castle lobby is a cool interactive marketing tool that helps bring awareness to the Friends of Smithsonian membership sign-up.

About Friends of the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian is an amazing experience for millions of visitors like yourself – a place that can create a life-long love of history, science, and the arts. You can help make that possible by joining the Friends of the Smithsonian. Support from our members helps us continue to touch the hearts and minds of our visitors – not to mention people around the world who interact with the Smithsonian’s unparalleled collections through our online exhibits, vast digital archives, traveling exhibits and educational programs.

How it Works

What you do is stand in front of the machine and follow the prompts to take a photo, almost like purikura or passport photo style. Afterwards, you can choose your interests. There are four options including arts & design, culture, history & artifacts, and everything. The choices dictate what digital archives the program chooses from to make up the image. Once you choose, you can hang out, watch the mosaic being done before your eyes, and enjoy small snippets of art from all over the Smithsonian collections.

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We did a fun one as a group.  We chose EVERYTHING! haha

pre & post moosaic


Candids & Coord Shots

Finally arriving at the Sackler’s entrance after, we decided to enjoy some of the nice weather and entrance ambiance by taking some quick co-ordinate shots of our outfits.

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We’ve Arrived!

Sōtatsu Making Waves, Yokoso! *oops* We can’t take pictures in the exhibit. Gomen nasai! (We apologize)

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Design Your Own Fan

We stopped and spent some quality time at the interactive part of the exhibit. Fans were a recurring theme on a lot of the Sōtatsu screens, so this part of the exhibit encouraged visitors to make their own. So we did!

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#dckawaiistyle was here! ^^


Making Wishes

The Sackler’s centrepiece, a sculpture of “monkey” in 21 different languages or writing systems, hangs from the gallery’s ceiling and ends at a fountain about 4 floors below. However, we couldn’t tell if it was a piece of the gallery’s permanent exhibit or if it was installed for Chinese New Year, year of the Monkey. Some visited the fountain to throw pennies and make wishes, while others stayed behind to wave from above. (hiiiii~)

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D.I.Y. Dragon

We found this in the museum store. It’s a D.I.Y. gold dragon inspired by the exhibit.


Off to Tea

Our next stop is Teaism for brunch, tea, and talks. 😀

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making new friends along the way~

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Surprise Photo Shoot!

A small group of us walked to the metro together. Entering into the Gallery Place station, we were stopped by WMATA Transit photographer, Larry Levine, for a few photos. It felt like a surprise photo shoot. <3

Fashion Group Gallery Place 011016-8902photograph courtesy of Larry Levine

Fashion Group Gallery Place 011016-8918photograph courtesy of Larry Levine


We hope you enjoyed our kawaii adventures, thus far. Got a meet-up idea or want to get involved? Just contact us. Also, feel free to check our events often for the next meet-up. We would love for you to join us!

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