Using hand built miniature sets and teenage subjects (no photoshop involved), Julia exacerbates the emotions, awkwardness, venerability and self-consciousness of ‘coming of age’. If Julia had depicted these scenes in real city/suburban environments they may appear almost photojournalistic, however her use of scale creating giants out of her subjects adds an uncanny atmosphere which makes us as the spectator explore the issues she’s raising.
deviantArt legend Tohad has been creating ‘Badass’ fan art, taking pop culture icons and turning them on their heads, it’s an idea that has been done but never in this way. Tohad keeps the cartoon nature and bright colours, creating a collection of badass characters presented in similar ways. Props to Tohad, I love this series.
21st Century Geisha, Magical Girl and Product Placement. These are all “looks” of our protagonist. Female pop cult icons change their visual identity in order to comply with whichever product or theme is in demand. They become like dolls boundlessly changing whilst simultaneously being branded as unique and liberating. Consumers are led into a false sense of empowerment, told we are free to choose how these icons look, when really we are being drip fed options. Our so called freedom is choosing from a series of pre-selected branded looks which demand we pay before getting access. This transcends into all aspects of consumerism surrounding these transmedia icons, figures, photos and trading cards all offer different variations, we buy into choices in order to show we don’t conform. When the act of needing them suggests the opposite.
We live in a society in which we passively communicate, and whilst many people see this as a negative thing, I don’t. I made this series to portray the emotion and comfort technology can bring us in relationships, long distance ones in particular. Each Image is named after the singular light source used in the image.
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”?
I looked briefly at Makoto Aida’s work here. Exploring his role in “Bye Bye Kitty” and his work. In doing this research I came across these images…
Aida is what I consider an activist photographer. Although he might not think it himself his work comments on the society he lives in a provokes change. Making the spectator question what they except as normal.
Japanese artist Makoto Aida used the form to make a biting commentary on how manga and anime objectifies the female form by drawing eyes on model’s breasts. When it’s not, the medium is people barely dodging a police fine for public indecency.
Kawaii is the dominant culture in Japan. How do you combat this or incorporate it in order to keep your work interesting?
It is a strange thing to say, but I did grow up among what they call “kawaii culture.” I say strange as we all take it for granted. I guess we’ve been exposed to such [kawaii] images without even realizing it. They are everywhere so, it’s always been in my subconscious. I do not take this whole thing too negatively, but still I am a man, I am not fanatically into what is considered kawaii in general. I guess you could say that I do incorporate the idea, or what I consider kawaii into my work unconsciously.
Aida is known for his paintings rather than his photographs. It is hard to find text and information on his photographs, I will scouer the internet and try my best. If I can’t find anything I will have to put my own analysis skills to test.