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“Harsh Reality Under A Lovely Disguise”

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April 14th, 2009

twist s 286x400 Harsh Reality Under A Lovely Disguise

Yan Wei has always liked fairy tales.  A lost child’s hopelessness masked by innocence evokes a world of contrasts and contradictions, she says on her site,

Though her English is broken, her quill certainly cuts, transposing this “harsh reality under a lovely disguise” in starkly disturbing, Chinese ’80′s pop-inspired style.  Including herself in a generation heavily influenced by manga/anime, it’s interesting to view Wei’s artwork as intermediary between modern animation and classic storytelling.

Taken under this context, the sex, tedium, angst, and whimsy her images are infused with offer a revelatory perspective on more than just a culture’s collective feeling of lack.  Wei’s art represents a reclamation or modern resurgence of the archetypal symbolism that was so essential in unburdening children of those feelings of despair in a hopeless world. (It also helps me understand or at least approach anime with a deeper perspective.)

Of course, Wei takes it a step further in her own direction, for her subjects have also been unburdened of that masking innocence.  They fluidly manifest the harshness smoldering beneath a carefree facade, as well as an integral, somehow preserving response to the travails that embroil them.  Neither side is predominant; Wei’s universe includes them both.  If anything, her work illustrates a duality of these supposed extremes, and encourages her audience to endeavour, with maturity and empowerment, the reconciling of the way things are and the way we wish they could be.

via Flylyf.

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