From a cultural perspective, the preparation of a bento, or home-packed meal, is a pretty big deal in Japan as it reflects how highly capable and super efficient mummy really is. The idea of a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich is alien when only the cutest lunchbox can past muster!
When I’m inadvertently or advertently a jerk in public, I sometimes get apprehensive someone with Mel Stringer’s insight and sense of justice will be present and make a comic about it. Based in Brisbane, Stringer’s kawaii characters bely a subtle but potent introspection into every day situations. She uses a gentle pallet of pastels to create comics and cards, and she takes commissions.
The Japan Society is doing an exhibition that everyone should see, even if you can only experience it online. Called Bye Bye Kitty!!!, it offers fifteen artists, working in painting, sculpture, installation, photography, and video. But the point is to skewer the whole cult of cuteness in Japanese art called Kawaii. We’ve all seen this: the big eyes, the pert nose, the high voices, the spry animals.