Makoto Aida. Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery. Watai Collection. Copyright © AIDA Makoto.

While art fair hoping during Armory Week ’11, we bumped into artist and friend Akino Kondoh, who luckily clued us into Bye Bye Kitty!!!, a fantastic exhibition of 16 contemporary Japanese artists opening today at New York’s Japan Society. Curated by David Elliott, founding director of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, Bye Bye Kitty!!! attempts to move beyond the stereotypical idea of cute and anime-inspired Japanese art, by showing paintings, objects, photographs, videos and installations that meld traditional styles with challenging visions of Japan’s present and future. Included are such notable artists as Yoshitomo Nara (c0vered) and Makoto Aida, as well as other lesser known but equally talented Japanese artists like Manabu Ikeda and Yamaguchi Akira.