An interview with Makoto Aida

Makoto Aida’s name is unavoidable when researching work that opposes consumption in Japanese culture. Aswel as being featured in “Bye Bye Kitty: Between Heaven and Hell in contemporary Japanes art” he is a key figure in the Japanese art scene, and his name appears everywhere.

This is an Interview with Makoto Aida from the Bye Bye Kitty exhibition

It’s interesting that Makoto Aida considers himself as a “Conceptual Artist” rather than a painter, his work does cross over multiple platforms.

When asked about his depiction of young girls he says…
“I believe there is an abundance of problematic points in the current generation of Japanese society and Japanese mentality”

“In a simpler manner there is one reason; after Japan lost the war Japanese people became people who were left without fatherly and patriarchal existences. This includes the fact that the Japanese Self-Defence Forces are not a proper army… I believe that there haven’t been many incidents in history where a nation has been in such denial of masculinity and become so feminine. Wether for better or worse, maybe if the whole world were Japan it would be in peace”

“I want to further expose Japans twisted parts”

“I would like people to know there are many active artists out there other than just Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara.”

I want to look more into Makoto Aida’s photographs, although he isn’t as well known for them as his paintings, they intrigue me and a I want to know more.
Left photo, “Body Painting with Koe in Stockholm” 2004

Right photo, “Girls Don’t Cry” 2004

Aida eschews irony to delve into the underbelly of his country’s booming culture industry; he exposes the edges where the fabric unravels to reveal something else — not quite an alternative, but a glimpse of something unsettling, reminding us that all is not well below the shiny happy surface.” – March 25, 2009 by 

There is a documentaru about Makoto Aida in which he is followed around. It’s called….

Makoto Aida: Cynic in the Playground

This is the trailer, I will be ordering the DVD soon and writing up a review.

Takashi Murakami the photographer?

Thinking I had to rule out Takashi Murakmi’s work as he isn’t a photographer was really starting to stump my ideas, how can I cut out the founding practitioner of the Superflat movement? But I have just found a series of photographs he made.

Miss Ko2 Project

As part of his ‘Miss Ko2 Project’ these c-prints by notorious Japanese Pop artist Takashi Murakami warp living beings into his anime based art. Saturated with the sex appeal so often found in Japanese animes, this scantily clad woman rendered with animated characteristics perfectly captures Murakami’s contemporary approach to Pop Art style of work.


Takashi Murakami
Miss Ko2-Fluffy, 2004
Chromogenic Print (C-print)
28.5 х 19 in. cm.
Takashi Murakami
Miss Ko2-Nurse, 2004
Chromogenic Print (C-print)
28.5 х 19 in. cm.
“Miss Ko2 – Devil” 2004
Photograph, frame / Photographie, encadrement
37 x 27 1/2 Inches / 95 x 70 cm
“Miss Ko2 – Uniform” 2004
Photograph, frame / Photographie, encadrement
37 x 27 1/2 Inches / 95 x 70 cm
“Miss Ko2 – Satoeri” 2004
Photograph, frame / Photographie, encadrement
37 x 27 1/2 Inches / 95 x 70 cm

Murakami was also Art Director for this shoot with Britney Spears and photographer Richard Prince.

Created in collaboration with Takashi Murakami and shot by Richard Prince, it features Britney done up manga-style – complete with Japanese photo booth images and Murkami’s signature smiling daisies. (Word is that the issue will also include cartoon stickers throughout.)
So, what did Britney think of the experience?
“I loved working with Takashi, I especially liked how he took high-end fashion and incorporated it with Japanese manga.”


Masayoshi Sukita

As well as photographers who use Japanese Pop Culture for artistic influence, there are also those who physically photograph the popular culture, creating iconic images that are hung up on hundreds of teenagers walls all over Japan.

Masayoshi Sukita has been photographing David Bowie for over 40 years, Bowie is a huge Pop sensation in japan even today, and Sukitas images of him have been reproduced thousands of times and helped define an icon.

2012 marks the release of Bowie and Sukita’s collaboration book. “Speed of life” a photo book with a journey of 40 years of photos.

In their fine bound edition, the authors have opened up Sukita’s archives to assemble a 300-page photo essay which, captioned with their own recollections and memories, traces the development of Bowie’s remarkable career from 1972 to the present day.

Photographer Masayoshi Sukita with David Bowie ,1989.


The exhibition of prints form the book is being held at Shibuya Parco Museum, in Tokyo Japan, Aug 25th – Sep 17th.

Gabriela Herman

For my Digital Rest project I am taking pictures as a response to sopa and pippa, the portraits will be of people sitting at their compueters with tape over their mouth, representing the restriction of sopa and pipa. I want to use the compter as my only light source because it reinforces the technology side of it.

Gabriela Herman produces portraits which just use computer light. She tries to capture bloggers from the other side of the screen.

These portraits show how powerful the computer can be as a light source, it creates beautiful shadows and an un natural pure light which anyone can recognise as a computer screen. It also gives the sense of being emerged in the light almost hypnotised by it, and in relation to rest all of these people seem as rest or tranquil as they stare at the computer screen.