Maddox Gallery is delighted to present Kawaii, a curated group exhibition featuring works by Javier Calleja, Cheng Zhe, Jo Gyuhun, Toachi, Wahyu ‘Adin’ Wiedyardini, Javier Gonzalez Burgos, Cheong Yoon, Bibi Lei, SPIME, Hana, Wakaru, Brad Donovan and STIK.
Kawaii is a sentiment that reveals through its historical roots, the complex energy of Japanese culture, and a breakaway from tradition. The term directly translates to “cute”, but should not be mistaken for childlike innocence. Although simplistic in aesthetic, it is packed with symbolic meaning. The range of Kawaii expands from the nostalgic reimagining’s of childhood fantasy into the subconscious. It has created a form of escapism from everyday life, while at the same time serving as a stance against social pressures and the overwhelming growth of today’s hyper consumeristic environment. It is a form of resistance to mature social responsibilities, creating an embrace of performative purity.
The kaleidoscopic and pastel colours, coupled with nostalgic fantasies and the adorable characters, namely children, evoke a sense of sympathy verging on pity in the viewer. Infectious angelic features are subtly embedded with tones of mischief and mayhem, referencing the darker undercurrents of emotion within the genre; these characters are the embodiment of a lost innocence.
Kawaii at Maddox Gallery explores this pioneering genre and the many ways that it has inspired a generation of contemporary art from all over the world, fusing popular culture from the East and West with each artists own signature aesthetic.
Kawaii opens on 14th October at Maddox Gallery Mayfair.