Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Cute, Scary!?

I love things that are cute and scary at the same time (especially if they both appear on the same t-shirt)

But, when I went to get my fill of True 'cute' at the Rune Naito exhibition Roots of Kawaii...

...I was surprised. The show set was an enchanted house full of secret doors and inviting nooks, the kittens were out, the eyes were big, and the lollipops were even bigger. But, oddly, it really wasn't that cute. In fact, wandering around this quiet, brightly coloured world, I never thought 'aw, sweet!' once. Instead, I kept thinking of Alan Moore's porno masterpiece Lost Girls...

The comic is full of dolls, bright colours, and pretty ladies...but 'cute' is the last word I'd use to describe it. It was pretty - even enchanting, sometimes - but, like The Roots of Kawaii, also strangely unnerving. Still, and scary.

In Japanese, the word for 'cute' (kawaii) and the word for 'scary' (koaii) sound so similar that I often used to get them mixed up and kick myself for it. But that was before. Now I've been on Sanrio Puroland's 'Boat Ride of Joy'...

and found out that Hello Kitty is so big she could crush me with her bare hands...

- despite the adorable rounded pinkness of her house (where she invited me to pose for Hello style pics) -

Hello Kitty's Daybed, with Kitty sweets
Hello Kitty's Dining Room, also with Sweets
 ... I don't think my semantic snafu was too far off the mark.

Which is absolutely fine with me!

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