MR. (Japan, B. 1969)
MR. (Japan, B. 1969)

Helloooo There !

Details
MR. (Japan, B. 1969)
Helloooo There !

signed ‘Mr.’ in English, dated ‘2008’ (on the stretcher)
acrylic on canvas
182 x 227.5 cm. (71 5/8 x 89 1/2 in.)
Painted in 2008
Provenance
Private Collection, Asia

Brought to you by

Eric Chang
Eric Chang

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Lot Essay

MR. mines the Japanese subculture of otaku-a computer-geek culture characterised by an obsession with manga, anime, and Lolicon imagery and celebrates the Japanese concept of kawaii or cuteness.   


In Helloooo There ! (Lot 124), MR. portrays a wide-eyed exuberant girl in a panty revealing pose cleaning a table. This girl in her frilly French maid outfit, surrounded by myriad symbols of sweetness and cuteness, displays a look of being caught in the act. The arty interior calls to mind the Maid Café in Japan, part of the broader community of Japanese cosplay subculture.


Maid Café is the quintessential French maid fantasy. Servers behaving in an eddy of cuteness are dressed as maids, and treat customers masters and princess for girls in a private home. In line with Japanese concept of moe, all maids are young and innocent-looking girls. Maid Café blurs the lines between the living and the dead, animal and human, fantasy and reality. The characters in manga and anime come to life in the cafe, playing an inexistent role, yet they become part of the real world. It is a phenomenon of Split Identity. From Freud, we can understand the representation of identity on the fictional world and the psychoanalytic enquiry into human nature are intrinsically linked, which acknowledges that identity is transient. Maid Café are offering more than food and drinks, rather, an escape from the mundane life. Similarly, Helloooo There ! is an artistic creation circumvents neurosis and takes the place of psychoanalytic treatment. It exemplifies the style and subject matter that has garnered MR. an international cult.

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