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details of Japan: kawaii

November 7, 2007

Photographs from a friend travelling in Japan right now. Painted images on walls, roller shutter doors, laptops and facades. Cultural artifacts of popular imagination and kitsch commercialism.

I keep adding new photos and discovering new words. ‘Kawaiii‘ is apparently a word of creative design, cuteness and fun.

Culture is everywhere in these pictures. And as kawaii almost harmly penetrates and revitalises experience. From statues of dogs dressed with clothes – to keep them warm in winter, to anthropomorphic products of extreme and apolitical cuteness. From ordered and well-designed cemeteries to ordered and well-designed food displays, sign fonts, and corporate identities. From imitations of VW camper vans to commemorative artifacts; such as of the frieze of a dog, who walked to work with his master on his way to the train station everyday and continued to do so even when his owner died… 

A toy-like life… Cuteness, order, consumption. Where market meets kawaiii… and vise versa. Or, where a cup of noodles promises freedom.

[rockyou id=89990444&w=445&h=334]

Photographs by Faye T © 2007 (Design & post-processing by Chr.S.)

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