Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu on a mission to spread Japan's kawaii culture - The Japan Times

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu on a mission to spread Japan's kawaii culture - The Japan Times

I've said it before and I'm going to say it again-- I think she's a genius.

There's an element of self-awareness about the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu phenomenon that appeals to me more than some of the other more overtly manipulated J-pop acts.  I see nothing wrong with embracing kawaii, but then, I don't live in a dichotomous, either-or world where being one thing automatically precludes being another.  One can be adorable and frivolous at times and still have substance and agency at others.  It's possible to do both at once.  I've always been a fan of Dadaist expression, and I find a lot of that in Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's methods as well.  That it has a beat and you can dance to it only adds to the appeal.

Obviously, some of the people discussing this story underneath disagree with me and their points of view, while thoughtful, seem overly rigid and unfair.  Joyless, as well.  Her nonsense words offend their sensibilities, whereas I enjoy nonsense-- and art-- for its own sake.   I'm sure R. Mutt's urinal offended people who wanted their art to conform to a certain level of seriousness or meaning back in 1913, too.  What it means is beyond their comprehension, yet there's even the chance it actually means nothing at all, another challenge to whatever current aesthetic system we hold as the standard.  Whatever success KPP has may lie in our ability as observers to ascribe our own meaning to kawaii, either negative or positive.

In short, you gaze at KPP and find yourself reflected back.  That is the triumph of art.  It teaches us about ourselves just by existing.  KPP is Art.

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