I have looked at Ryoko Suzuki’s series on Kawaii. But she has 2 other projects would be a great example of activism photography.
My ANIKORA series is acting in front of social background, of a growing trend in Japan, known as “aikora”: it is about Japanese men’s desire to see their favorite pop or movie stars in pin-up or nude poses.The ANIKORA series ironizes such masculine desire. The figures featured in these works have almost nude bodies of an exaggerated perfection, like all anime characters. But by exchanging the original face of these virtual identities with my own, real face, I am showing a critical, human position about a (globally) increasing indifference towards some of our desires, leading to a situation of external control.
The second, ANIKORA-SEIFUKU series, developed afterwards, shows girl figures wearing several types of uniforms that are commonly seen in Japanese animations (“Manga”). I was wondering why a figure in such a uniform (made especially for teenage girls) looks more seductive to adult men than the same figures in a state of nudity.I came to the conclusion that this kind of specific social effect only exists for men, and for a time the girls being a certain age – reflecting a uniformed, female image they can control. I felt I had to take a close look at this and work towards this situation.
Japan is a country submerged in“cuteness”.
I have been surrounded with“cute”things since childhood and thus they seem natural,but I have come to believe this“cuteness”is unique to Japan.
ANIKORA series Three takes“cuteness”as a sub-theme.
Along with ANIKORA series 1 and series 2,the purpose of these works is to investigate the desire of men to see“anime”or cartoon characters of young women with child-like face and improbably voluptuous bodieis. It is easy to see how men’s desires are reflected in these characters, but less so how this way of seeing women is expressed in Japan’s culture of“cute”things.
Women who are immersed in the culture of “cuteness”define themselves and present themselves to society as objects of “cuteness”. Being“cute”is the most important value for Japanese young women. But aren’t they losing themselves and their own identities and personalities by trying to become objects of masculine society’s desire for“cuteness”?