Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blue Heat wishes to White

What is wrong with this picture? Nothing really it has some playful surrealistic elements like the dolphin flying and the Moon emanating so much intense light as to give the girl some tan-lines but summer and Xmas is the normal way of things yes?

The images in this post are by Tadanori Yokoo and are from an advertising campaign he designed in 1971. Seeing the exhibition *The Complete Poster Works* of Tadanori at the the Osaka National Art Museum was one of my highlights of of my trip to Japan in August for the Aichi Triennale.

The whole exhibition was fairly overwhelming, and with no translations of the titles or wall plate information, I was pretty much lost in the spectacle of his amazing prints. So I had no idea that this series was advertising for Xmas holidays in Hawaii- as I said above, Summer and Xmas just seemed normal- I guess I though it was an extension on some of the images of women he had been doing. (which seems crazy now- but lots of weird things happen in Japan all the time, so weird seems normal)

I think this one is my favourite. (big picture here on flickr)

The flat horizon created by cutting across an image of sea, the centred island and the general From here to Eternity vibe are the first things that hook me in. The placement of that horizon is just above centre- the convention suggests that a mid-picture plane horizon is a very difficult image to pull off- Yokoo nails for me, by anchoring the bottom half with a gianormous pink fleshy nude. But I think the thing that keeps my eye moving around the image is the way the light comes from all different sources: from above on the palm trees and front right of the model just to name two. I also just can't get past the models awkwardness - and her right hand underneath her leg is crab-like and creepy. The pink nail polish is so uncanny! (click over to here for a big version)

Kind of odd advertising for a family holiday in the sun.

(BTW this is a *great* little tourist video showing Halcona Cove Beach on Oahu, Hawaii, where From here... was filmed. The narrators diction is interesting- is that a Hawaiian accent? And all power to this couple who re-enact the kiss- I hope I have the same amount of self deprecating humour and abandon when I am their age.)

Partly my reasons for not recognising what this was about, was I think of Hawaii- thanks to American TV (Magnum PI) - as being American even though I know there are a lot of Japanese living there. Also the landscape is not one I intimately recognise. For example the below scene just says "tropical" to me- maybe even reminding me a little of Mt Warning. And OK- I didn't notice the Hibiscus flower being distracted by that 'jazz-hands' nude. (another landscape poster here)

Who knows what thought to myself when confront with this one- That he didn't like Xmas? That this one was about the family dramas associated with Xmas?

So to all my Northern friends buried deep in a white winter I wish you some Southern heat and will be thinking of you on the beach tomorrow.

Xmas Paradise is missing you all.


  1. 'Jazz-hands' nude is a classic! I will try to employ that (how?) in my own conversations! Interesting post.

  2. Man, that waterfall just needs Tom Selleck and a sandwich.

  3. Tom Selleck I get but a sandwich?