Other than reading the books Shaun Hydes suggested I have ben pretty stuck with where to go. The best way is to focus my idea, I wrote briefly how I was changing my idea, and adapting it but now I need to restructure my sections so I can figure out which areas need more work.
Section One – Context
Positioning myself as a Westerner = Limited view.
Intro to Japans adolescent culture. (including pics)
Cuteness in Japan is ubiquitous. Cute sells just as much as sex does. In the 80′s a subculture arose out of Japans technology Capital, Akihabra. Otaku originally refereed to outcasts, grown men obsessed with childish activities, although they held a secure job and were intelligent, their minds were consumed by Manga, Anime, Maids, Sexual fantasies and Figurines. As Otaku culture grew into a pop culture phenomenon, and a sub-branch came about “Kawaii” artists and theorists began to explore why Japans culture had taken such a dramatic shift. Takashi Murakami, a leader in Japanese Contemporary art, explains this unusual cultural change as a reaction to WWII. Japan suffered the horrific events of Hiroshima, then surrendered to American dominance and signed a Peace treaty, leaving them defenceless. Japan reverted to a child, fascinated with adolescent ideals and America became the Parent, force feeding Japan their consumerist culture. Leading us up to today, Japan adapting American ideals and becoming consumers.
Section Two – Consumerism Photography.
Using the sexualisation of women as an example, could be applied to other areas within consumerism.
Once we define Kawaii culture as being a child-like state, and understand that Japan has taken America’s forced consumerism and appropriated Western ideas to create a unique hyper version of Consumerism culture, we can start to interrogate photography’s role.
Superflat: Taksahi Murakami, Japans art scene becoming flat, no boundaries between Art and Consumerism. Superflat originally took influence from Anime and Manga, taking the flat aesthetic features and using them to make social commentary on the flatness of modern culture. This idea is visible within photography, in terms of Advertising products and making money. Churning out photography with one intent, to sell.
Analyse works: lack of substance, purely visually pleasing, doesn’t challenge us, link back to the adolescent state of Japan.
Section Three – Activist photography.
Bye Bye Kitty. 4th look, making the spectator question the society they live in.
What about the photographers who are fed up of consuming? and want to use their skills to make the spectator think about the society they live in rather than drip feed them products? 4th look – making the spectator question themselves.
‘Bye Bye Kitty: Between heaven and hell’ – Collection of artists challenging Kawaii culture & Murakami’s work in particular. They directly oppose the post war child state by “challenging visions of Japan’s troubled present and uncertain future”.
Section Four – Conclusion, and appropriation.