The Dark Side of Japanese Art
Although Japan is commonly associated with the über-cute Sanrio empire and candy-colored anime, its art tells darker, graphic tales. The Bye Bye Kitty!!! exhibit at the Japan Society (333 East 47th Street) eschews everything kawaii and focuses on the underbelly of Japanese art culture that portrays fear, anger and anxiety. The exhibit features paintings, objects, videos and photographs by sixteen Japanese artists—eight men and eight women, ages 28 to 46. The works shown range from visually enticing to ghastly and jarring, yet all carry a certain weight to them—nothing is for pure shock value. The artists draw their influences from Japan’s lengthy history, the gravity of Japan’s present situation and the future of Japan as an economically strong nation thrown off-course by multiple disasters.
The exhibit is open now until June 12th. General admission is $15; students and seniors $10. Admission is free on Friday nights, 6-9 PM. 50% of all admission sales will go to Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund.