A graduate of USC Film, brad fulton is concerned with creating atmospheric and memorable images within a single frame. brad fulton’s concept of “single frame cinema” first began as a personal challenge numerous years ago in order to incorporate the emotional and atmospheric depth found in a cinematic masterpiece within the photographic frame lines of his leica camera. over the years this obsession has been responsible for creating countless images forever branded on the brain of modern culture by avenue of numerous advertisements, imaging campaigns, and most recently in KILL YOURSELF – a 180 page book of brad’s iconic images.
On searching fiction photography I came across Brad Fulton. Who openly expresses his want to tell a fictional story within one image. I was particularly drawn to his science-fiction series as his love and understanding of sci-fi comes through. I really want to learn more about them, and about how he tackles telling a story with one image. Creating an alternate reality through photography/
I am going to contact Brian via email and explain my intentions and ask for his advice.
It seems there is an influx of photographers who are aiming to break the kawaii nature on Japanese culture. On researching the Superflat movement one thing I have noticed is the lack of photographers involved. The only examples I can find are advertising campaigns, thinking about it that fits in the with superflat ideals of consumerism.
“Bye Bye Kitty Between heaven and hell in contemporary Japanese art” is an exhibition of new breed artists who’s work openly contradicts that of Takashi Murakami and the ideals associated with superflat movement as well as Kawaii and otaku culture.
Art in America’s blog writes this about the exhibition:
Featuring work by 17 artists”Bye Bye Kitty” reflects a decisive shift away from the cult of the cute, or kawaii, that appears in the art of Murakami. But the exact identity of this new style is difficult to pin down over all.
Gaia Gallery Art Blog writes:
“Bye Bye Kitty!!!” is a radical departure from recent Japanese exhibitions. Moving far beyond the stereotypes of kawaii and otaku culture, Japan Society’s show features sixteen emerging and mid-career artists whose paintings, objects, photographs, videos, and installations meld traditional styles with challenging visions of Japan’s troubled present and uncertain future. Each of the three sections, Critical Memory, Threatened Nature, and Unquiet Dream, not only offers a feast for the senses but also demolishes our preconceptions about contemporary Japan and its art.
Time entertainment, offers a more contextual look at the event:
In a lecture delivered on February 17, a month before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, curator David Elliott said that “One of the things that is interesting [about the show] is its apocalyptic nature,” and argued that the mood of foreboding in the works on display was “based on the artists’ experience” but also “based on their living in an earthquake zone — that something bad could easily happen.”
Sixteen artists are featured, split evenly between men and women, and the show is divided into three sections. “Critical Memory” examines the role played in the Japanese psyche by classical art, including the traditional painting forms of ukiyo-e and nihon-ga. “Threatened Nature” looks at environmental crisis. Finally, “Unquiet Dream” reveals the artists’ inner anxieties with works of haunting beauty and gallows humor.
In 2010 Lady Gaga took part in a photoshoot to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 35th Birthday. Photographers Markus Klinko and Indrani shot Gaga in a Hello Kitty stuffed dress and combined the image of 2 of the biggest female icons in Popular Culture.
The power of Sanrio’s branding in regard to Hello Kitty is outstanding.
In the US alone, Hello Kitty has expanded into 4000 stores nation wide with more than 200 Sanrio specific shops. Created as a gift item to be exchanged between families, Hello Kitty now adorns more than 22.000 products across categories and contributes more than half of Sanrio’s USD 1 billion annual sales.
Beautiful New World is an Art exhibition that focuses on the idea of a new world, along with the 21st century came a great expectation of peace and growth in Japan, but it soo became the most violent and destructive time in recent history. Whilst WWII was harmful, post war provided great growth for Japans economics. However in the last 30 years Japan has suffered from some horrendous events such a earth quakes, tidal waves and economy crashes. Influenced by the theme of a new world which is so current in Manga, the world being destroyed and trying to rebuild itself is featured in thousands of manga stories, these art pieces comment on the lust for a better place, an escape from reality which is so predominant in Japanese pop culture. (off the top of my head I can think of 3 or 4 manga series I have read where creating a new world is the main theme.)
The exhibition itself features the work of 34 creative people, spanning across all art forms, and is divided into 3 sections, Beautiful real world, New media world and End of the world and future world.
The main theme of this section is understanding beauty and reality. Question both of their meanings and re-exploring how we understand them. The pieces are based on the representation of females in Contemporary advertising and fashion shoots. It also takes direct influence from manga..
Japanese manga and animations that illustrate gender-specific features in the boy’s world / girl’s world; and works that focus on “kawaii” culture, as well as the personal world-view of hitori-asobi(solitary play) that deviates from this culture.
This piece by Kaneuji Teppei has a direct reference to Japanese popular culture, using the brightly coloured structured hairstyles which feature in anime and manga to create a Big foot type creature.
Paramodel is an “art unit” formed in 2001 by Yasuhiko Hayashi (2001 Fine Art graduate from the Kyoto City University of Arts) and Yusuke Nakano (a Nihonga [Japanese-style painting] graduate from the same university). Their title comes from the combination of the words, “Paradise” and “model”, and the fusion of these two concepts is essentially the launching point of their creations. Although the unique talents and interests of these two individuals hardly ever intersect, they manage to work in parallel towards the same vision of constructing intricate models of Paradise using toy parts, like plastic train tracks and mini-cars. Engaging in this poetic, yet paradoxical practice of remodeling paradise, this art unit presents their visions in a variety of media, including installation, objets, animations, painting, sculpture, and photography. –www.azito-art.com/paramodel/
These pieces by Paramodel play on the miniature culture within Japan, the sushi presented on the truck plays on the idea of Kawaii culture within Japan, the need for everything to look cute and sweet.
The art of new media has changed the ways in which we view the world. The works that tune into the new possibilities of communication and physical sensibilities are becoming ever important in considering contemporary society; such works take interest in what effect technological development in images and sound has on human sensations. The idea that perceives human relationships, or relationships between human and the environment as fluid, rather than predetermined, could be the driving force behind such developments. The works to be on exhibit in this section encompass a broad range of works, including not only those works that incorporate new technology, but also those that relate to the urban environment, fashion, and objects. – Taken from the online catalogue
some of the exhibited work:
Hiroshi Fuji’s work looks at consumerism and a culture who chuck out anything that isn’t up to date. His sculptures are made from discarded items, he tries to take unwanted objects and turn them into something interesting. All the parts are childrens toys.
All featured artists:
Atelier Bow-wow, doubleNegatives Architecture, Tsumura Kosuke, Fuji Hiroshi, Ikeda Ryoji, Oshii Mamoru, Yokoyama Yuichi, National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)
Section 3 End of the World and Future World @B.T.A.P.
This section touches on the deep-seated apocalyptic world-view in Japanese society and culture, together with the visions for the future that are projected as result. The apocalyptic world-view is shaped by the disintegration of society and the collapse of urban cities, caused by natural disaster, war, and genocide as such, as well as death and the fear of facing death, while the visions for the future are projected in forms of cities in rejuvenation and futuristic cities. Some of the works in this section signify eternity and sustainability in relation to these themes. – taken from the catalogue
some exhibited work
Hatakeyama Naoyas stunning landscapes toggle between the destruction of the world, juxtaposed with landscape photos with no sign of human life, making us think about the beauty of the world, and putting us in the position of imaging a new world.
– Project Viva Riva – Sutanda
2001 200cm × 200cm × 300cm
aluminum, brass, motors, other monuments (Revival) Play arose from the “ruins of the future.” Work was born doll suit atom was picked up in the ruins of the nursery of Chernobyl, the sun that had been painted on the wall has become a group. Doll rises senses radiation 20 times, objects located beyond the line of sight of the sun shine at the same time. Stand up on two legs is also a big step in the process of human growth and human evolution.
Tomoko Yoneda’s photographs of an end is seem less kitsch and colourful as some of the work in the exhibition, however it’s message is strong. Unless accompanied by it’s title the photo holds no real connection to the idea of a new world, but with the title we imagine we have reached an end of a story, perhaps a family or couple fleeing to the new world after a long series of events.
All featured artists:
Fujihata Masaki, Hatakeyama Naoya, Miyajima Tatsuo, Miyamoto Ryuji, Ohmaki Shinji, Urasawa Naoki, Yanobe Kenji, Yoneda Tomoko
The exhibition as a whole
There is no doubt that this exhibition would have been one worth seeing. Rarely are so many forms of art in one place, the interesting idea is that all artists work is based along the idea of a Beautiful New world, but each result is completely different, and that the repetitive use of a new world narrative within Manga has a big enough influence and has become such a big part of japanese pop culture that many artists are using it as their influence for work.
Love Land invaders is a series by German Photographers Ralph Lagoi and Kate Lace. This series is shot entirely in Hotel Rooms in Japan, and uses Japanese pop culture as a direct influence.
Your work is so funky fresh. Where do you find inspiration?
Thank you! We draw inspiration from lots of things like: Entertainment and pop culture, Japanese culture and its surreal output, nature and mythology, erotic bodies, fashion-design and art are perpetual inspirational sources. They all have one thing in common: a good vibrant portion of positive energy.
The sexual nature of the image refers to the massive sex, erotica and porn industry in Japan, and a massive part of pop culture which I will have to look at in my work. The common idea is that ‘sex sells’ and there is nothing more key in pop culture than making money.. The fact that they are taken in hotel rooms also enforces the themes of sex. The colours in this work are sickly and kitsch representing the mass of the pop culture, it’s in your face, fast pace and can be overpowering at times.
The key to depicting a journey is not through the strength of 1 image, but a series of images. Here are some examples of what I mean.
‘Gilles and Gotscho’
I use this series a lot in my research projects, but thats because it’s impact has never worn off. When depicting a journey Nan Goldin has such an intimate relationship with not only the people but her photos that they immerse you in the Journey she is experiencing, even if she isn’t in the photos.
As individual images they are still powerful, but as a series they grip the audience in a different way. Much like a book make you wants to turn the next page, Goldins work makes you want to see more. We become involved in the journey of these two men and feel emotional attached to them
This is an example of an emotional journey, for the purposes of my project I am now going to look at a series of physical journey images.
‘A1 – The great north road’
We looked at this series in photo book club last year. It’s a series of images taken between 1981 and 1982 of people and places on the A1. Paul Graham the photographer spent a lot of his childhood travelling up and down the A1 so this project is very personal to him. The A1 is considered to be the back bone of the UK, connecting the north and the south. They places along the A1 however aren’t taken notice of, they are temporary stop off points for truck drivers and families.
As a series it makes me stop and think about all these places I have driven past and never taken a moment to stop and reflect. And although the series was made before I was born, I know I have been to places like this recently. Making these photos timeless, they depict a place which never expands, it is always there just doing it’s job, which in todays society is quite refreshing a comforting to see.