Tuesday 7 August 2012

Japanese Micropop

Winter Garden - Japanese Micropop


at the Theoharakis Cultural Centre.

I was looking forward to this exhibition as I know very little about Japanese contemporary culture and I was eager to find out more, particularly since I love the work of Yayoi Kusama . I am also a big fan of Haruki Murakami's work - for me, 1Q84 was one of the cultural highlights of 2011 - so I had great expectations, which unfortunately did not materialise. I found the exhibition rather disappointing.

Mahomi Kunikata, The Useless Cave, 2007

Makiko Kudo, Sky-flying Fish, 2006

Makiko Kundo, Might Fly at Night, 2007

Hiroshi Sugito, Starry Night, 1992

Mahomi Kunikata, Girls' Festival for Defeated Soldiers, 2007.


  1. My son has recently become an enthusiast of Japanese Magma Comics and Anime films. These pictures remind me of those - they're the same style. I like the bright colours but child like people with big eyes and cutesy animals are not to my taste either.

    I have mixed views about Murakami. I liked Norwegian Wood and Sputnik Sweetheart, but I found the Wind up Bird Chronicle hard going and gave up about two thirds the way through. So although I was tempted by 1Q84 I've held back from reading it.

    1. The exhibition blurb mentioned the Japanese Magma Comics but since I was not that interested, I did not pay much attention.

      In my experience people either love or hate Murakami - you seem to be somewhere in the middle, Mick. I have not read the Windup Bird Chronicle, but liked Norwegian Wood and Sputnik Sweetheart. My favourites are Kafka on the Shore and 1Q84. 1Q84 is, amongst other things, fantasy, and I don't, on the whole, like fantasy, but loved 1Q84: I found it engrossing, quirky and got totally involved in the world he has created - and was grateful for the length of the novel(s) as it meant the enjoyment went on and on....

  2. I downloaded the 1Q84 Kindle preview and read through that when it first came out, and I thought it was quite good. But I thought the same about the beginning of the Windup Bird - I quite liked it at first but half way through it lost me. So I was concerned the same might happen with 1Q84 and I didn't want to risk buying it, partly for the cost (I'm quite mean!)but mainly because there are so many other things I want to read. Perhaps I should get it from the local library and give it a try as I did really enjoy Norwegian Wood and Sputnik Sweetheart.

  3. I hate not finishing books and in the past always persevered. I remember saying that to a friend once and he said: 'why?' and in a way it was quite liberating and now I do stop if I find I cannot get into a book - life is too short. Part of my reluctance to abandon a book is the cost ('I'm quite mean' was quite funny) but also it is like giving up, a defeat.

    Maybe you should give 1Q84 a go, and maybe not. As you say, there are so many other things to read. However, our conversation has made me think that I should give the Windup Bird a go.