Today I awoke to an exciting text message telling me my figurine was ready to be picked up from the basement in Graham Sutherland. I was very excited to see it and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It was presented to me and I was confused at first, the figurine was surrounded in a plastic waxy substance, the technicians put me at ease once they told me that is to be washed away. The figurine is also slightly smaller than I originally wanted but due to the Universities 3D printing facilities it is the biggest I could get it.
The next step was to soak the figurine in cold water, I did so for about an hour before starting to clean it.
On the technicians advice I used a tooth brush and scrubbed the figurine, this took just over an hour but was strangely therapeutic and relaxing. I took a video of myself cleaning the figurine for around 10 minutes, I found it really hard when doing research to see any videos on the post production of 3D printing i.e. cleaning, prepping and painting so I thought I would make a video which anyone could access and not have the problems I had.
The figurine still has a rough texture on the back half so I will leave it in soak over night and scrub it again tomorrow, then it will be ready for painting.
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.” – http://beautifuldecay.com/2009/03/25/makoto-aida/ March 25, 2009 by Fei
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.
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.
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.”
Hirohito Nomoto is a Japanese photographer who’s work takes an unemotional look at the effects of the 2011 Tsunami & Earthquake in Japan.
The aftermath of the March 11, 2011, massive earthquake and tsunami that struck the Pacific coast of the north-eastern region of Japan was complete devastation. Hundreds of kilometers of coastal area were affected with approximately 380,000 buildings suffering damage and about 120,000 completely destroyed.
This series is a record of some of the structures damaged by the disaster. The photographs of the facade of each building were taken using techniques of architecture photography that allowed me to keep my emotions at bay, in order to depict the scene as naturally as possible. The aim of this work was to present the viewer an image of what happened there on the day. Most of the buildings in the series were pulled down and do not exist anymore.
On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake followed by a devastating tsunami struck the Pacific coast of the north-eastern region of Japan. This series captures the buildings that were left standing and those that were swept away by the tsunami.
Approximately 120,000 buildings were completely obliterated, turning into more than 20 million tons of rubble. Mangled beams, pillars and whole sections of roofs, furniture and all kinds of household goods form now huge heaps, up to 20m high, of debris that still remain on the disaster areas. Every single piece of debris shot for this series is a footprint of human activity. The aim of this work is to record that with extreme detail. For this reason, one of the works is composed of hundred millions of pixels to create one single ultra high resolution photograph, an overwhelmingly high-resolution image that would enable the viewer to imagine what happened there.
‘Japanese Schoolgirl confidential – How teenage girls made a nation cool’ – Brian Ashcraft with Shoko Ueda
I bought this book at Hyper Japan in February 2012 just out of interest to read. However there is one chapter in particular which is very relevant to my symposium research project. The Japanese school girl is at the center of Popular Culture and has helped to define Japan as the eccentric, youthful and energetic nation it is today.
Chapter 6 – Art
This chapter gives an insight into the way Japanese school girls are represented within art and photography, including themes of sex, innocence and violence.
The chapter starts by talking about one of Japans most famous modern artists “Mr.” and his role with the school girl.
‘Nobody Dies’ is a short film which embodies all the aspects of the school girl. Teenage girls with airsoft guns depicting war as fun, cute and harmless. It is based on one of his paintings from 2007 called ‘It hurts when it hits the bare skin’. Directly influenced from the role of young women in Anime Mr.’s work has helped push the assumption that the best age for a woman in life is 14/15, no children, no work and no husbands, an idea that to us might seem absurd, but in Japan the pressure of marrying and having children for young women equivalents that of 50’s Britain.
Time out new york describes Mr.’s work and ‘Nobody Dies’…
Mr. is an unabashed fan of otaku, a geek-driven fantasy world whose denizens include pubescent girls with saucer eyes engaging in Lolita-like scenarios. His first solo exhibition portrayed these doll-like cuties as giant candy-colored sculptures that exaggerated their peekaboo innocence. Perhaps to distance himself a bit from Murakami, Mr.’s second solo exhibition, “Nobody Dies,” presents a video starring live girls “discovered” on the streets of Tokyo, along with a series of related photographs and a panoramic acid-hued painting, which seems to depict Akihabara, the massive, arcade-filled Tokyo neighborhood that is otaku’s subcultural epicenter.
The video follows the story of five tween schoolgirls who plan their revenge against a team of punk chicks who beat them in a mock survival game reminiscent of paintball. More than a half hour long, the tedious narrative weaves together silly flashbacks with a plethora of crotch shots. The accompanying photos depict the girls in front of various locales in elaborate costumes—from gingham uniform skirts to fashionista camo—designed by Mr. and Kaikai Kiki. What the viewer is supposed to get out of “Nobody Dies” is anybody’s guess, but if Mr. hopes to entice more than just otaku geeks, he’d better start giving a clue, or his own career may expire.
The next artists which is discussed in the book is Makoto Aida, who’s work I had come across before but only on anonymous bloging sites. As an adult man Makoto Aida is fascinated with the idea of the Japanese school girl.
These artists had grown up after the war, while the process of rebuilding Japan was in full swing. they experienced the rapid ascent of the japanese economy during the heady 1980’s, and came of age surrounded by pop-culutre. They drew inspiration form this-using the language of manga and anime to convey their message.
-page 128/129 Talking about Makoto Aida, Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara.
The book continues to write about how Aida uses the combination of innocence and sex to make his subject feel uncomfortable,.
“At the age of fourteen, I became obsessed with the magical quality young girls have,” he says. “As I get older, the age difference gets wider, and yet the almost magnetic attraction to these girls gets stronger and stronger.” But the artist emphasises it’s not a romantic interest. Rather, it is a reminder of his youth and his ageing.
Tomoko Sawada is a key photographer is understanding life as a Japanese School girl, understanding the abilities appearances can have for young girls. Individuality is a huge problem for Japanese school girls, living in a country with so many people how do you stand out?
In the late 1990’s Sawada used subway station photo booths to take passport-style portraits of herself. In each photo her hairdo or expression was different. Ultimately, the four hundred monochrome photos she took made us her work entitled ‘ID400’. The point was that although these were ID photos, none of them identified Sawada.
The passport-style photo is a key part of japanese life, it’s sent along with job applications, used for marriage match making, and remembering the “best” part of their lives, School.
Sawada then went on to create a ‘school days’ series which pushed her identity project further.
At first is appears that this is a normal school photo, but when you look closely you see that each character is the same person, Sawada. This is her exploration of individuality and shows how teenagers have the ability to be individual in the most structured environment. Maybe that is the appeal of teenagers, the freedom and individuality they possess.
Sawada, Koide, and Aida, and many other Japanese artists today, use schoolgirls in their work much in the same way French Realists like Millet and Courbet painted pheasants – schoolgirls represent the common people, they are the soul of the country and bear the brunt of society, they are the ones who keep it going. And sometimes that stress can take its toll.
Photographer Motoyuki Kobayashi also uses the school photo to present his thoughts on society, but in a different way.
‘I feel that if society looks at the purity of schoolgirls, it can see the future,” says Koboyashi. There’s hope. These girls represent the Japan of tomorrow. “The purity of young girls’ hearts is a common theme in Japan.”
Roughly half of Japans 120 million residents either were, are or will be school girls. They represent the mass. “Schoolgirls are a symbol of Japanese culture.” – Says Kobayashi
His books depict innocent, hopeful images of japanese school girls.
Keitai Girl is an image made by photographer Noriko Yamaguchi it looks at school girls and their relationship with “Keitai Denwa (portable phone)”. Her photos are self-portrait, she has covered herself in hundreds of mobile phone key pads which concern the desire to touch.
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.
The exhibition of prints form the book is being held at Shibuya Parco Museum, in Tokyo Japan, Aug 25th – Sep 17th.
I recently acquired a polaroid camera, and since i have got it, I have wanted to produce a polaroid series. However I don’t want to do the hipster thing and use it to document how “awesome” my life is.
This polaroid camera got put to the back of my mind until today, when I found 10 polaroid sheets for 1.50. I saw this as a sign, I must do this project.
But what do i photograph? what series of images would benefit the effects of a polaroid camera?
For a while in my head I have though about a series which I have yet to name, this is a series of people in wigs, I want to produce close up images of people in wigs that make them anonymous. When I went to my first Anime Con it fascinated me how normal everyone was under their costumes, most had office jobs and brown hair, this was their escape and hobby. in my mind i picture 10 polaroids, each with a different person wearing one of their wigs, but all thats in the frame is the hair that might have been missed when putting on the wig. No identity or context just a hair line which is being desperately hidden by the wig.
The reason I want to take these images on polaroid is because its disposable, just like their identities they consume at the weekend.
Halo was a great source of colour and shape for this Digital Play series, but I wanted to explore more games, so I went for the complete opposite in terms of colours and visuals. Call of Duty is one of the biggest selling shoot em up games, so it’s perfect for this project. To be honest I didn’t expect good things, because visually i knew Halo would be more interesting.
There is no real appeal for me in these images, maybe thats because my love of colour, and also my relationship with the game, these are all personal feelings however, i have to remember that million of people play this, so it gives me a bigger target audience.
Yesterday I shot some group photos for the Tunbridge Wells Sea Cadets, I’ve talked about my planing of the shoot here. I turned up at the unit with my equipment and said hello to everyone. I then watched as they preformed the colours, which is an opening ceremony. I pretty much knew what I was looking for out of this photo because L.t. Commander Jon Vanns showed me a photo that was taken in 1999 of the unit, they wanted something pretty similar. At first i intended to use 2 bowens flashes, but the images came out really cold and blue, so I went without the flashes and just used the model lights and the unit lights. This worked into my favour because the original image is quite yellow toned, and so are the images i took.
We started with group shots, everyone was organised and followed instructions clearly which was very helpful to me. After this i offered my services to take individual photos, that the cadets could then buy.
I am giving a disc of the images to the unit, they will all then look through them together and each fill out a form saying which images they want on disc and/or which they want printed.
I think I will charge £3 for a disc and £10 for each print, this will cover costs and earn me some money too.
In terms of orders i have had 10 CD orders and 2 print orders. Which worked out at £50, the prints cost me £5 (£10.00) each and the CD’s cost £1.00 each (£10.00) this means I made £30 on this job, which I am really pleased with, I really love the group photo shots but the individual shots were a spur of the moment thing so they could be better.
All the images I sold on the CD’s had watermarks on, because of social networking copyright laws. ( I realised after the Vintage-Ware photo shoot how important watermarks are)
Today our class went down to the Skydome in Coventry to make images of the Coventry Blaze Ice Hockey team whilst they practiced. I found it hard with a 18-55 lens but that was my own fault, I should have booked a bigger zoom lens out. I also had that typical problem, seeing you images on the camera display screen and thinking yep all good, then getting back and seeing that you should have made your shutter speed a tiny bit faster because the images are slightly blurred. But anyway here are the best edits.
i came across this site called We ❤ It. It’s basically an online site where you can create a portfolio of your favourite found image. It seems like a good idea to join in with. And I thought the images people collect could be of there outlets, there are a lot of camera, headphones, paintbrushes. It’s a very euphoric site with the mystical hazy themes. Here are some of the images which i regard as peoples escapes.
The only problem with it is most images are from tumbler and there are no links to the original artist, because tumblr has become this anonymous re-bloging system.
These are all really good examples of peoples loves and escapes. But not really my style. but a good research source, definitely be using WE ❤ IT more for research.
I’ve never come across his work before, but whilst researching social documentary images with cigarettes i came across these images. The use of cigarettes in Ian MacEachern’s work is so frequent that as i clicked through his gallery it became odd not to see them. His work features cigarettes as the much norm thing to so.
I think with a lot of his work the closeness is lost, in nearly all the images the person has lowered there cigarette, they are stopping what they are doing perhaps because they are aware their image i being taken. Perhaps smoking is such an intimate personal moment, you don’t want to share it with strangers. Saying this in all smoking areas in clubs become like social frenzy’s, probably from the alcohol, but the fact everyone shares a common ground makes them seem more approachable, maybe only to other smokers. This could be another aspect to look at, when smokers meet eachother.