giovedì 4 ottobre 2012

IDOLS (アイドル) AIDORU as Contemporary arts

From Bijinga to AIDORU, TARENTO - Idol sengoku jidai - till contemporary ARTS.

In Japanese culture, idols (アイドル aidoru) are usually female,  media personalities in their teens and early twenties who are considered particularly ATTRACTIVE, KAWAII, CUTE and who will regularly appear in the mass media,  as singers for POP (or jpop) groups, bit-part actors, TV series or Talk show personalities (TARENTO), models in photo spreads published in magazines, advertisements, etc.

Actually, thanks to the AKB48 project, IDOLS scene becomes a contemporary art for, that influence great artists such as Murakami Takashi, MR (kaikaikiki) just for telling someone name.

I would like to develop and analyse how is happen that one ultra massive pop style become CONTEMPORARY ART, now.

For first, let's see and know more about IDOLS (here thanks to wikipedia) :

The idol PHENOMENO began during the early '70, reflecting a boom in Japan for the musician Sylvie Vartan in the French film Cherchez l'idole in 1963, with Japanese title (アイドルを探せ Aidoru wo sagase) in November 1964. The term came to be applied to any cute female actress or singer, or any cute male singer.

Teenage girls, mostly between 14 and 16, and teenage males, mostly between 15 and 18, began rising to stardom. One in particular, Momoe Yamaguchi, was a huge star until her marriage and retirement in 1980. Idols dominated the pop music scene in the 80s; and this period is known as the "Golden Age of Idols in Japan".

 In a single year, as many new idols could appear, only to disappear from the public spotlight shortly afterwards. A few idols from that era, such as Seiko Matsuda, are still popular. In the 90s, the power of female Japanese idols began to wane, as the music industry shifted towards rock musicians and singers for whom music was a more important sales point than looks or wholesomeness, as well as towards genres such as rap that were harder to square with conventional prettiness. At the same time, the power of male Japanese idols, such as SMAP, Kinki Kids, Tokio, and V6, grew. The Japanese idol phenomenon has had a large impact on popular culture especially in Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and other Asian and non-Asian Countries.

    Idols as contemporary Bijinga (美人畫)

It is commonly said female Japanese idols represent the perfect female form in Japanese society, as in the past (ukiyo-e  EDO period the portraict of beauty made by sensei such ast Utamaro, Hokusai, Arunobu, Utagawa Kuniyoshi and more top masters of the period.

They are symbols of FEMALE SEXUALITY and are often dressed erotically. For this reason they are often IDOLIZED by both males and females. Male audiences' infatuations with an idol's good looks are fed with detailed information about the idol's measurements, favorite colors, food, hobbies, etc.

Slide from a lecture i did about Japanese's culture from EDO period till contemporary POP waves
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Hana (flower): Bijinga (美人畫)  the IDOLS of the EDO period

   from massive pop, mas media and music, to contemporary arts:

In 2007 NHK Kouhaku Utagassen, "Idol group from Akihabara" AKB48, "OTAKU IDOL" SHOKO NAKAGAWA, "Idol from the U.S." LEAH DIZON performed a medley called "Special Medley: Latest Japan Proud Culture"
 Together, introduced as "Akiba-kei idols", while HELLO! project groups, including Morning Musume, haven't participated in this program since 2008.

 In 2008, "Near Future Technopop Unit" PERFUME, which got famous with their hit song of that year "POLYRYTM", sang on the stage for the first time.

In 2010, some new idol groups appear, such as Momoiro Clover, another Hello! Project group S/mileage, a sister group of AKB48 SKE48. From Avex, which held girls' groups like MAX, Folder5, Dream, a teenage idol group Tokyo Girls' Style made debut. A TV-based group Idoling!!! has its own program on Fuji TV, as the main stage of Onyanko Club was Fuji TV's Yuuyake Nyan Nyan before, and gets some popularity.

 The current situation in the Japanese idol scene is called "Idol sengoku jidai" (アイドル戦国時代 ; Idol war age)

AKB48, for a videoclip directed and arts by Mika Ninagawa

Above is a video i shoot in summer 2012, at OSU, Nagoya. During WCS show. all right reserved. (c) chris gangitano

Since the 2007, a New category of Idol, the "Virtual Idol" is growing popular in JAPAN.Thanks to the advent of VOCALOID 2 and it's famous Character HATSUNE MIKU the "Virtual Idol" are enjoying a great popularity amongs the peoples, gaining a solid Fan-base.This new type of "idol" in addition to the usual Media, They often receive adaptations in other dedicated media spanning: Anime, Manga, Novel, Videogames, ...
Another Example of this new category is The Idolmaster Franchise.

                                                                                     Hatsune Miku
ABOUT IDOLS as a contemporary arts scene:

Six ♥ Princess, 2010, film d'animazione di proprietà dell'artista presentato a Versailles nella mostra Murakami Versailles e nel catalogo Murakami Ego
And here's the thing. certainly sensitive people esthetics, art and the phenomena of contemporary arts POP can not remain indifferent or treat the phenomenon IDOLS with superficiality, snobbery or simply as mass phenomena. The approach I have for this scene is a carefully aesthetics and a 'analysis of this phenomenon as a new artistic language. Here comes the confirmation of my idea, through one of the recent artistic productions of Takashi Murakami and his magical princess.
Takashi Murakami: magical six princess

 Murakami & Kaikaikiki IDOLS vision

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