Tag Archives: anime

Dr. Wilda Reviews Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop at Seattle Art Museum

23 Nov

Moi attended the press viewing of Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop at the Seattle Art Museum’s Asian Museum. Here are the details:

Nov 22 2014 – Apr 5 2015

Asian Art Museum

Tateuchi Galleries

If possible, Mr. should be seen in conjunction with Pop Departures:

Pop Departures

Oct 9 2014 – Jan 11 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries

The exhibition takes us beyond the pioneers of Pop and to the work of subsequent generations of artists for whom Pop art has been an inspiration or a vehicle for critique. See works from the 1980s and ’90s by artists such as Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, and Richard Prince. Continue with work made in the era of digital markets and social media by Margarita Cabrera, Josephine Meckseper, and Ryan Trecartin….http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/pop

According to the Seattle Art Museum’s description of Mr.’s exhibit:

Live On, which is organized by SAM, presents Mr.’s art of the past 15 years and is his first solo exhibition in a U.S. museum. Born in 1969, Mr. is a protégé of Takashi Murakami, internationally acclaimed icon of Japanese Pop art. He borrowed the name “Mr.” from “Mister Giants” (Shigeo Nagashima), the superstar clean-up hitter of the postwar Yomiuri Giants baseball team…                                                                                            http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/liveon

Lehmann Maupin has some very good information about Mr.

Mr. (b. 1969, Cupa, Japan) graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, Sokei Art School in Tokyo in 1996. Mr.’s work simultaneously studies and partakes in otaku, the Japanese “cute” subculture marked by fetishistic obsession with young adolescents, technology, sci-fi literature, manga, anime, and video games. Like his fellow Superflat artists, Mr. approaches the visual language of manga as a means of examining Japanese culture at large, fusing high and low forms of contemporary expression. Mr.’s paintings play with the hyper-sexualized portrayal of young women prevalent in otaku; know in Japan as “lolicon,” the term is originally shorthand for “Lolita Complex” but in usage has come to refer to the otaku preference for explicitly fictional young girls.

Mr. has exhibited internationally in both group and solo exhibitions including the acclaimed 2005 exhibition Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture, Japan Society, New York; RED HOT: Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas (2007); KRAZY! The Delerious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada (2008); Animate, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan (2009); Exhibition Kyoto-Tokyo: From Samurais to Mangas, Grimaldi Forum (2010); Leeahn Gallery, Seoul, Korea (2010). Mr.’s work is represented in numerous public and private collections worldwide. The artist lives and works in Saitama, just outside of Tokyo, Japan.           http://www.lehmannmaupin.com/artists/mr

Related:

Japanese Artist Mr. – Metamorphosis at Lehmann Maupin …

► 5:44► 5:44

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fyPnFZZjtA

Sep 22, 2012 – Uploaded by VernissageTV

http://www.vernissage.tv | Japanese Artist Mr.: Metamorphosis: Give Me Your Wings / Lehmann Maupin Gallery ..

Aric Chen wrote an insightful analysis of Mr. in Art Crawl’s Candy Man:

Mr. is a Japanese artist whose cartoonish paintings and sculptures in bubblegum colors derive from Japan’s otaku (or “geek”) subculture. As such, he shares the otaku obsession with anime, manga comic books and what many have described as their unhealthy infatuation with little girls….

Mr.’s images are compellingly saccharine portraits of innocence taken to unsettling, seductive extremes. Admitting to a Lolita complex—though he says he doesn’t act on it—he maintains the line between fantasy and reality by realizing his fantasies through the medium of his work. All the while, his subject matter is both intensified and chastened, its dark desires illuminated by a sheen of cuteness, posing questions about the limits of acceptability, the boundlessness of imagination and the perversions hidden within all cultures, whether otaku or otherwise….   http://www.hintmag.com/artcrawl/artcrawl.php

See, Mr. ‘Metamorphosis: Give Me Your Wings’ at Lehmann Maupin Gallery (Video)       http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vernissagetv/mr-metamorphosis-give-me-_b_1907858.html

Live On is a sample of the past 15 years or so of Mr.’s work. It seemed to be divided into three periods. The first period was when Mr. was a struggling student artist and then working under the tutelage of Takashi Murakami. He explores themes of otaku culture, and lolicon themes using an anime/manga style. The periods flow into each. Mr. first period is typified by “Making Things Right” which depicts an uprising. This work is interesting because Mr. used scraps of canvas from Murakami to piece together a larger work. He was working as an apprentice and didn’t have much money.

Another period began in 2011 in response to the tsunami and nuclear accident. He mentioned that he explored themes of garbage when he was a student, but moved on. Japan and Italy were compared by Mr. because both suffered poverty after WWII. He mentioned the movement of Italian artists who explore the theme of garbage to express what is going on in their environment. See, In Naples, artists use irony to tackle festering trash crisis. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Living-Green/2008/0506/in-naples-artists-use-irony-to-tackle-festering-trash-crisis According to Mr. the garbage installation at SAM just came out of him. He ties the garbage period to current work by including newer work in the installation. Frankly, moi is glad Mr. got garbage out of his system and will hopefully move on.

The third period is a period of an artist refining his technique and using quality materials. There is a degree of control and intentionality in his exploration of anime/manga. The works can be appreciated on many levels and are more than just bright colorful pictures of girls. An element of Japanese culture which many will never explore or know is hiding there in plain view.

Mr. mentioned Hatsune Miku which is a virtual character during question period. Huffington Post reported about this trend in Meet Hatsune Miku, The Sensational Japanese Pop Star Who Doesn’t Really Exist:

Miku is a mascot for a product: a voice synthesizing software, through which users can write songs. In 2007, a company called Crypton Future Media released the software for purchase, built using Yamaha’s Vocaloid technology as well as a database of samples recorded by a voice actress. As with most of Japan’s entities (including the country’s police agencies), this offering came with a cartoon mascot. She was 16, liked pop music, and wore her hair in long pigtails. She was Hatsune Miku, a name that translates to “first sound of the future….” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/08/hatsune-miku-letterman_n_5956420.html

One can only wonder if this is the next path for Mr.

Dr. Wilda recommends Live On and if the reader can attend Pop Departures, it will simply enhance the enjoyment of both exhibits.

Resources:

What are Manga and Anime?

http://www.mit.edu/~rei/Expl.html

The Truth Behind What “Otaku” Really Means

http://japaneselevelup.com/the-truth-behind-what-otaku-really-means/

Lolicon: The Reality of ‘Virtual Child Pornography’ in Japan

http://www.academia.edu/3665383/Lolicon_The_Reality_of_Virtual_Child_Pornography_in_Japan

Related:

Dr. Wilda Reviews Seattle Art Museum’s Pop Departures                                                     https://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/dr-wilda-reviews-seattle-art-museums-pop-departures/

Dr Wilda Reviews: Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945 at the Seattle Art Museum                                                                                                                                                                 https://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/dr-wilda-reviews-deco-japan-shaping-art-and-culture-1920-1945-at-the-seattle-art-museum/

Dr. Wilda Reviews art exhibit: ‘Hometown Boy: Liu Xiaodong’ at Seattle Art Museum           https://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/dr-wilda-reviews-art-exhibit-hometown-boy-liu-xiaodong-at-seattle-art-museum/

Dr. Wilda Reviews: Seattle Art Museum’s ‘Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion’                                                         https://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/dr-wilda-reviews-seattle-art-museums-future-beauty-30-years-of-japanese-fashion/

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Dr. Wilda Reviews: The Dragon Pearl

30 Jun

Moi received a complimentary copy of the Dragon Pearl which was exclusively released to Walmart on June 18, 2013 and which will be available on DVD on August 20, 2013. Here is a synopsis and Youtube trailer:

Josh and Ling were expecting a boring vacation visiting each of their parents at an archaeological dig in China. But the new friends soon discover they’re right in the middle of an adventure when they find a Chinese Golden Dragon.

Director:

Mario Andreacchio

Writers:

Mario Andreacchio (story), John Armstrong (original script), 3 more credits »

Stars:

Sam Neill, Li Lin Jin, Louis Corbett | See full cast and crew

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwgJ-HbwKlg

What this movie does well is provide “family-friendly” entertainment. It was a good movie which could have been a very good movie by stronger character portrayal and better special effects. The martial arts action at the end of the movie really saved the show.

This was a joint Chinese- Australian production and moi wondered whether the story which is really a beautiful fable should have been handled more deftly. Some of the characters appeared to be caricatures. Prime example was the Temple caretaker role, Wu Dong, which was played by Jordan Chan. Maybe a performance which would have focused more on the wisdom of a Temple caretaker who was charged with protecting a legacy would have been more effective.

The story is based upon the role that dragons and pearls have in Chinese history. Dragons and Dragon Lore, by Ernest Ingersoll, [1928], at sacred-texts.com provides some context in Chapter Ten: The Dragon’s Precious Pearl The story is based on a Chinese fable about a Chinese dragon who gave his pearl, the source of his power, to a good Chinese Emperor to help him win a battle against his enemies. The Emperor’s daughter re-writes history when her father is killed in battle to say the pearl was lost when it really was buried in the Emperor’s tomb. The dragon has been waiting thousands of years for the “chosen” one to return the pearl. This is a great fable would should provide the strong backbone of any fantasy movie.

Sam Neill plays a divorced father who is the leader of the archeological team excavating the Emperor’s tomb. His son, played by Louis Corbett comes to visit him for the summer. There just wasn’t the chemistry between the two, even for a relationship which has been strained by divorce. Li Lin Jin who plays Ling is very good as the sensible Chinese girl. Again, the stereotypes are present as Corbett plays the clueless westerner. The children meet the caretaker when they return a flute he lost to the Temple. The music, by Frank Strangio, which wafts through the production is quite good. This music can only be heard by the “chosen” one which is Ling. At the Temple, the children encounter the dragon. The villain, Philip Dukas played by Robert Mammone added an unexpected twist.

The movie is weakest on special effects. The dragon is only OK and the pearl looks like a dot which is places over people’s heads when the face is to be obscured. Probably, the pearl is supposed to convey energy, but it just looks lame. The strongest parts of the movie are the music, the beautiful photography and scenery and the beautiful fable. Moi recommends the movie because the whole family can watch together and the martial arts action is quite enjoyable.

Dr. Wilda recommends the Dragon Pearl as family friendly entertainment.

Other Reviews:

The Dragon Pearl                                                  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/dragon-pearl-film-review-sam-neill-335529

The Dragon Pearl                                                 http://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-dragon-pearl

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