Before I start on this artist there is one cliché that I really do need to get out of the way, this is one artistic project that is doomed to be summed up as “Takeshi Murakami meets Damien Hirst” and while that is a favorable comparison to say the least, I do feel sorry for studio three, because once you have got past that original comparison there is something really unique to discover here.

Basically this is an art project that tackles themes well established by the likes of Takeshi Murakami and other Superflat school artists by depicting aspects of Japanese subculture using the medium established by that sub-culture.  In this case producing stunning sculptures of urbanism and sexuality but using melted plastic figurines.  Continue reading to see more from this particularly interesting and occasionally disturbing project.

I suppose in a very literal way this is actually what these otaku-friendly figurines look like inside, but the artist has clearly chosen a lot of flesh coloured tones for the inside of the piece.  I found myself wondering if the reason for this very similar colour being used for the skin of all these figures is because of the colour used in anime cell production or whether it came from the colour of the plastic used for figurines.  Either way seeing all these figures melted together just brings home how uniform all these characters actually are – when melted together there really is no differentiation between them.

I did find myself trying to identify those characters I could, but the artist was kind enough to provide a list of all characters in the work to accompany the exhibition.  Overall through details like this I felt that there was nothing aggressive towards the otaku subculture in this work, if anything there was a sense of self-critique from the artist.

This is one of their older works that used clear tubes filled with sweets for the visitors to eat.

This was Three’s first concept, using convenience store soy sauce containers filled with coloured ink to produce awe-inspiring structures.

I really like how in this work the iconic red tops are used to add a sense of uniformity to the chaotic colour.

Into the void…

Anyway, I would heartily recommend checking out Three’s site if you want to see more of their work.  They have exhibited internationally before, but they exhibit very frequently in Japan, so it is not all that hard to track their work down in Japanese galleries if you want a closer look – and why wouldn’t you?

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