From Publishers Weekly
The world of cartoon cuteness goes horribly, surrealistically wrong again and again in this survey of 40 contemporary Japanese artists. The overriding mood is one of suffocating, inward-looking dread, expressed through an obsession with imagery drawn from manga, television, the Internet and pornography. There are hamsters in bondage, a tattooed Kewpie doll, and Lolita figures riddled with hypodermic needles. The best of these disturbing visions are presented with an audacious virtuosity. Mika Kato paints masterful and exquisitely creepy oils of doll faces, and Shintaro Miyake's elaborate installations could depict the dream lives of abandoned plush toys. The few artists who depart from the basic formula of pop surrealism are generally derivative of Western artists. Yasumasa Morimura, for example, takes staged photos of himself that are almost embarrassingly similar to Cindy Sherman's work. So what does it all mean? The text by critic Yamaguchi is not much help, offering mostly banalities. That picture of the girl being poked with all those needles? She's apparently a very contemporary reflection of a society in chaos. But it's the images themselves that make up the bulk of the book, offering a brisk, intoxicating tour through the dark side of the Japanese pop culture imagination. (June 1)
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"...A brisk, intoxicating tour through the dark side of the Japanese pop culture imagination."--Publishers Weekly
"Jaw-dropping showcase of contemporary Japanese art, from sculptures to drawings to photography to unorthodox media." --The Midwest Book Review