Emi Harako

Artist Statement

My work is inspired by the art and consumer items that are present in the Japanese cute culture, after all they are bright colored, ever present and televised. The Western academic establishment has reasoned that the Japanese have an affinity to represent themselves in a cute guise as, well, the world and life are less scary that way, in theory. That’s in theory, in practice I wish you to see my paintings, which deal with highly individual emotions of

loneliness, boredom and introspection to the point of sexual solitaire. Sure its cute and the characters in my paintings have bunny ears and baby fur in some cases, but they are on their own, pitted against the mono-color background of their world, where it seems their idea, of self, their gender and even the safety of the games that they play, has trickled away - all for a bit fun.

Who are they, these bored chicken racers who ware animal heads for helmets and are being “wild” within the metric dimensions of the canvass? To answer that I will use a memorable phrase said to young people around the “civilized” globe - “do whatever you want but use protection”. I suppose, the hardcore otaku fans who consume the cute culture and the products of that same culture can be a subject of concern for the moral majority, but then this subject constructs itself into a hapless, helpless cute image and surely no one can “shoot Bambi“, even if it is sexually active or so?

In any case, despite the apparent mimicry, in my opinion, my work is hardly comfortable enough to be a mass produced cute article, and because of its snapshot outsider look at that culture it is doubtful if its fans will identify with it positively, which leaves me for better or for worse to conclude that it is art, as to what kind of art - that’s a matter of taste. Go on and taste. 



2009- ArtbelowZero, Westbourn Studio, London

2009- Collectible Bargate gallery, Southampton

2009- Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, London