Desire: The Influence of Japanese Manga

By Julie Rees.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Within the context of art, desire as a universal condition has been investigated in many genres, including film, literature, fine art, comic books, and video games. Interestingly, there are a number of contemporary visual artists born in the seventies and early eighties resurrecting the topic of desire through the visual appropriation of Japanese manga and anime. This paper will underline how the subsequent influence of the exposure to Japanese popular cultural manga and other forms of anime during childhood have contributed to Eastern and Western contemporary art practices. The morphing of Japanese manga inspired images with Western symbolism, demonstrates the cultural mixing that artists have been exposed to in their upbringing. This investigation will formulate how the concept and appropriated visual forms of Japanese manga and anime used by relevant artists best question desire. The surrealists' believed that desire had the ability to transform new ways of seeing the world, and no doubt this impact is evident in the current works of Japanese artist Aya Takano,Chinese artist Cao Fei, and Australian artist Ghost Patrol. This study will be used to inform my own approach in expressing notions of desire in my own visual language, highlighting iconographic characters' experiences with unfulfilled desires within the narratives.

Keywords: Desire, Contemporary Art Practice, Japanese Manga, Anime

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.81-91. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 564.283KB).

Dr. Julie Rees

Doctoral Student in Fine Arts, Faculty of Arts, Education and Law , Fine Arts, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Currently, my research is investigating desire through visual interpretations in contemporary art, specifically focusing on artists who are influenced by Japanese manga and anime aesthetics. This will in turn, inform my own studio art practice to be able to effectively communicate the complexity and interactivity of mixed media in today's techno-driven contemporary society.