Harumi Gals is an ongoing project by Harumi Yamaguchi that began in the 1970s. The difference between HARUMI GALS and Harumi Gals is that the all-caps version of the title refers to the exhibitions and the italicized version refers to the series that has been going on since the 1970s. The Harumi Gals exhibition I will be focusing on is Hyper! HARUMI GALS!!, which was unveiled in 2016 at the PARCO Museum in Tokyo, Japan. In this exhibition, all of the pieces in it were previously used or planned to be used in PARCO advertising. PARCO is a Japanese department store chain that incorporates culture into their branding. Their museum is an example of this culture they have incorporated. Hyper! HARUMI GALS!! displays Yamaguchi’s classic Harumi Gals as they have been seen in PARCO advertising. In this installation, they can be seen fiercely eating a stalk of celery, bowling with pins flying all around them, posing while wearing a big colorful dress, and sitting on a tiny motorcycle. In Yamaguchi’s own words, Harumi Gals are “women who live with their free-spirit as their first reason for living”. They do not care what others think and follow their hearts and what feels right to them. In that way, they are a representation of freedom without boundaries and reflect the emergence of the women’s liberation movement that was happening in Japan during their creation. The time between the 1970s and 1980s in Japan brought forth many new innovations and ideas, such as the independent cosmopolitan woman. Harumi Yamaguchi helped to show these innovations though advertising and her Harumi Gals.

Above: Exhibition of Hyper! HARUMI GALS!! at PARCO Museum in Tokyo




Harumi Yamaguchi