Some years ago Minami Minegishi, a singer of Japanese Idol-Band AKB48 got a some international media attention: she appeared on Japanese TV, crying with shaved hair – apologizing for having had a sexual affair with a young man; which seemed to be prohibited by her contract with the management of the group.
The first image that came up in Katja Stuke mind – the artist’s mind – was the image of shaved women in Europe, after World War II women who have had affairs with German soldiers where publicly punished this way. Still even today shaving women’s hair seems to be a symbol of humiliation and power — further more this symbolism is widely used across the world.
Other questions that came up: Was this her own idea or was it just another marketing strategy? These questions let Katja Stuke to use Minami‘s image as part of »Mechanical Brides«; a series Katja Stuke started in 2011 a work which focuses and examines the image of women in media an advertising.
As part of the artwork Katja Stuke produced stickers of Minami’s portrait and pasted them out on the streets: on traffic lights or electrical boxes, post boxes, trash cans or power poles wherever we travelled: in Japan, all over Europe, the USA, in Hong Kong, South Korea and China. Preferably in commercial areas of big cities close to advertising images or advertising screens. Nonetheless the stickers reached the southernmost place in Africa and an abandoned alley in Sarajevo.
A 60-page zine with images of the stickers in the streets between South-Africa and Japan was released in 2015.
|Topics||Idols, Japan, Portrait, Street|
|Dimensions||21.0 × 29.7 × 0.2 cm|