Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Destination Japan(town) -- Day 40

Walk: R/T Car for de Young Museum Lecture, R/T Mindful Body to take yoga class
Distance: 15 blocks and yoga class

I wonder how the 'Western' (US?) aesthetic comes in on people raised in the Japanese visual culture. In the reverse, as a 'Westerner' looking at Japanese art objects and retail culture I am always a bit jarred by the blunt, straightforward presentation of objects. I will go further into 'political incorrectness' to say that much of what I see comes in on my 'childlike' channel. The colors are straight from the tube as they say, not blended with supreme Italianate sophistication. Figures whether human, avian or animal are often my idea of cartoon-like. In the west for the most part, we build appetite in potential restaurant goers with ambiance and aroma, but the again the Japanese are blunt: colored plastic replicas of the menu offerings.

To me this presentation style has the same draw as neon signs in, maybe, Vegas. That is to say, it is a visual language that is distancing at best and repellant at worst. Nothing says 'Other' like neon to me; at a deep level I want no part of it. And on a lesser level, no part of me wants a china cat all stiff, round of of face, shiny glazed of body. It almost seems an insult to me and even to the cat. Certainly I would not buy such an object.

But this is clearly come on marketing to the Japanese aesthetic.What are they registering? I wonder.,_San_Francisco

This would have been the place to find my Valentine's Day images.

What do you think of these cakes, Mr. Thiebaud?

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