Inside hide MUSEUM, Odaiba 2013


by Leela McMullen, chi.yow, posted August 11, 2013

Some may say that walking into hide MUSEUM is like walking into the past, surrounded on all sides by iconic images and nostalgic memorabilia. However, the implication in this statement is that only those who knew hide as a living artist, or were invested in his work at the time of its creation and performance, could appreciate the artistry inside those walls.

The truth is that walking into hide MUSEUM is like walking into another world where creativity is a living entity. hide MUSEUM is like an existential fusion of music and sculpture, image and interpretation. Each singular item—be they costume pieces, merchandise, or hide’s day to day belongings—was created with its own purpose and meaning and yet, when set into glass bubbles in the wall or hung suspended in clear cases, one piece ads to another and the result is a pocket of the universe where hide still lives, his vision and music filling the space and all that enter it.

The area itself is quite small; no larger than a small Japanese studio apartment, yet the space is used to perfection with every corner and cranny utilized down to glass panels in the floor. The displays snake cleverly around, divided by the guitars hanging in clear cases to either side of the center aisle.

When hide’s ideas were birthed, he surely did not envision this. There is a unique magic to the excited whispers and pointed fingers upon discovery of hide’s eye drops, tucked away among pieces of disturbing yet aesthetic jewelry and neon plastic CD cases. The small smile evoked upon noting the affectionate notation of “Chiro-chan’s solo” on the displayed hand-written set list is another example of the treasure hidden away in these lovingly preserved items.

The scratches on hide’s completely clear guitar may seem like a shame at first glance but surely each scratch has its own story and further deepens significance of the instrument. Meanwhile, the famous Yellow Hearts guitar is nestled happily beside its green companion, and a fascinating metallic instrument with a transparent panel screwed over the open wire casings gives a unique insight into what’s really going on inside an electric guitar. Perhaps there is a certain symbolism designed into the reflective surfaces surrounding these instruments, allowing viewers to see themselves juxtaposed with hide’s prized instruments and artistic statements.

With hide’s music playing in the ears and a projection screen rolling the touching scene of his solo debut announcements, along with a string of music video favorites, hide can almost be imagined inside the various costumes lining the walls. These alone are worth viewing close up, if only to see hide’s own boots, so hard to fill, with one’s own eyes. Megaphones, masks and hiragana-faced dummies; neon green hazmat suits, colorful pinstripes, army décor; hide MUSEUM has it all.

The last impression of the main chamber is a wall inscribed with lyrics from hide’s hit song “ROCKET DIVE,” the words floating in star-filled space. These are the words that accompany the thoughts as one creeps through the plastic veil which leads to the exit chamber. There, you find the Real Human Doll, a lifelike replica of hide himself, bent over the Yellow Hearts. His serious expression holds an aura of professionalism while his checkered suit and instrument design speak volumes of playfulness. Here, an interview can be heard, hide’s deep-toned speaking voice a contrast to the twangy character voice associated with his one-liners and infamous quotes.

Stepping outside into the stifling summer heat is a wake-up call after the cool tunes and entrancing atmosphere of the MUSEUM’s interior but at the very least, souvenirs are just around the corner with colorful galactic designs that capture the magic of the world left behind—the world of hide’s unbridled imagination, passionate invention, and unfettered expression.

Check out the photo gallery for more inside shots of this fabulous adventure!

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There are 50 photos in this visual kei exclusive.

Leela McMullen is a strong believer in the philosophy "no music, no life." Having traversed the range of Japanese fandoms, she found her home at last in visual kei and has made it her mission to share what she loves most with the world. Leela completed her B.A. in Japanese language from Griffith University in Gold Coast Australia. She now lives and works in Japan, striving to bring you the goods, hot from the scene. Follow her on twitter for juicy hints of upcoming articles if you've got a bit of Japanese language under your belt!!/LeelaInTokyo

Chi’s interest in visual kei stems from her love of art. The unique aesthetics in combination with the wide range of musical styles within the genre have been what has kept her interest in the visual kei scene for over a decade. The main image her friends and classmates have of her is with a camera in hand, face behind the viewfinder or screen. This image is also occasionally combined with memories of running around her to avoid getting into her panorama shots.

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