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Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art, Exhibition

 

Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art Exhibition at Japan Society

In a densely urbanized, highly stratified society situated in the heart of an earthquake zone, the fear that the worst could easily happen lies at the back of many minds. ~David Elliott, Independent Curator

The past week has been a sobering reminder of nature’s uncontrollable force. As much as we would like to understand it, whether it be through science or art; the fact still remains that it is unpredictable as it is powerful. Yet, the human spirit is resilient and reflective on how such a catastrophe forces the best human qualities to surface and assist in efforts to connect and re-build. The Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art exhibition at the Japan Society in New York is a timely show that provides those of us miles away from the devastation a look into both the culture as well as the country’s psyche. In the desire to understand other human beings, the hope is that we better understand ourselves in order to provide authentic and present engagement.   

One of my favorite New York Times art writers, Holland Cotter, published an art review titled, Anxiety on the Fault Line, regarding the Bye Bye Kitty!!! show. It is, certainly, worth the read.

By Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina American writer, artist, and educator whose academic and research interests include feminist media histories, critical medical anthropology, race and technology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She is a Ph.D. student in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow. Her work as been exhibited at Ars Electronica, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the GLBT Historical Society.

Her writing appears in art21, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Ars Technica, Vice Motherboard, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture. She is a co-founder of REFRESH, a politically-engaged art and curatorial collective and serves as the program manager for the Processing Foundation.

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