The corruption of the innocent will utilise the Tokyo fashion style known as Yami Kawaii (Sickly cute) and team it up with a popular collectable mostly referred to as Ball Jointed Dolls. This amalgamation of a fashion trend and the ball jointed doll will be used as a doorway into the my own world of dark humour and emotional scaring.
Yami Kawaii is a way for Tokyo residents to break out of the mould and express themselves through embracing mental illness. The style is “cute” and “fluffy” which is the absolute opposite of what one would normally associate with suicide or self-harm. Similarly, the adorable doll I create will be tainted by the words which accompany it, though with an air of humour. This is one of what will be a large collection of dolls. A room filled with tortured little souls that will make anyone who enters the room fill with dread and fear.
As a visual artist with a strong background in graphic design I prefer to use my hands, mainly with clay, and I often opt for hard hitting topics which mainly focus on mental health, domestic violence, feminism and horror. Through a series of blogs I am hoping to capture an audience with the story that builds up around the creation of each doll through artistic research and reviews.
The main thought process for this project is to illustrate how phycological damage is invisible. Someone who is suffering from psychological and emotional torture does not always have outward signs of the trauma that they have experienced, yet the damage can leave them unable to function fully, if at all. It can result in behaviours that are deemed “socially unacceptable”, self-sabotaging often dubbed “attention seeking”. It is only through continuing to break the taboos that surround this kind of violence that it becomes easier for others to speak up about their own experiences.
In Japanese culture, any form of mental illness is automatically deemed “weak” and “wrong” and those that suffer often do so in complete isolation and silence. Artist and influencers like Kuua and Bisuko (the pioneer of this fashion style) have created a fan base that is growing steadily. Through this new fashion style people are coming together to express themselves through what they wear, building a community of people in support of one another’s journey. But it is the way in which they have chosen to express their mental health issues that has drawn me to the new trend. Instead of dark gothic like images, they have opted for soft pastel colours, cute cartoons that are juxtaposed with phrases like “fuck you”, “Kill you” or “I want to die”. They’re not trying to make a joke of mental health however, far from it. They’re trying to make a confronting topic less taboo through expressing it in a way that softens the blow so that it no longer feels scary or wrong.
They’re not the only ones working hard towards breaking the boundaries of mental scarring and I will be exploring many artists and creatives who use their own style and skill sets to re-work the negative images associated with this invisible illness.