What Lies Beneath The Cute Factor?

Elizabeth Dobrilla

As a foreigner living in Japan, I made sense of a place that seemed paradoxical with symbols and icons. Some of these, such as the Chrysanthemum - the Imperial seal of a increasingly reclusive family - have sacred origins. Others are rooted in pop-culture and its obsession with Cute (‘Kawaii’); the ubiquitous Hello Kitty paraphernalia; the teenage girls parading as characters from Manga.

Art Exhibition previously on at Gallery 101 (now closed) in Australia.
From Wednesday 01 July 2009 to Saturday 18 July 2009
Launch Thursday 02 April 2009, Tues - Fri: 10am till 5pm Sat: 12-4

Entrapment, 2007 image

Published by Gallery 101 on Friday 24 April 2009.
Contact the publisher.

Living in my tiny apartment and being confined to small spaces, I chose to abandon print-making for the intensity and chaos of the canvas. Here, I both explored and questioned my sense of alienation, resisting tidy clichés about a complex and contradictory society. For instance, the kimono-clad woman marching through the streets of Kyoto could be seen as the keeper of discipline and austerity inside the home and not simply as a woman constrained by tradition. Did the subversive as well as the sinister lurk beneath the cult of Cute? And when it comes to unravelling the layers of imagery, how much does my own tradition get in the way?
Elizabeth Dobrilla, 2009.