Radical and Revolutionary Genius: Miyazaki's Reimagined Soup Cans - Revolver Gallery

Radical and Revolutionary Genius: Miyazaki’s Reimagined Soup Cans

Japanese twist on Warhol's classic Pop Art pieces

Recently, Brazilian-Korean artist Hyo Taek Kim, married Warhol’s Pop Art style to the work of Japanese filmmaker Miyazaki. He said he wanted Warhol’s Soup cans on his wall, but without the branding so he created his own. Kim made a unique color palette and iconography for ten Miyazaki movies, and then married these to the soup can. He thus created ten soup can posters, each based on ten different Miyazaki films.

When asked why these two specific artists, Kim simply said, “Andy Warhol changed the world of physical arts. Hayao Miyazaki changed the world of animated arts”. Both artist’s through their work, have approached social dilemmas in an idiosyncratic way. A common theme that they both address is consumerism.

Warhol was so overwhelmed with the consumerist attitude in America at the time, that in 1962 his soup cans were a reflection of the emotion they invoked. Especially when the prints are stacked one after the other, they resemble the stacking of soup cans in a grocery store. Today perhaps we are acclimated to this, but in 1962, the world was still adjusting.

Miyazaki takes a different approach to critiquing consumerism, for example in the Oscar winning movie “Spirited Away”, the movie opens with scenes of lush green trees and bright blue skies. Every image of nature is vibrant and inspires the viewer, whereas every image of buildings and other manmade structures are dull and grey. In 2008, Miyazaki said to the press that he “was frustrated because nature – the mountains and rivers – was being destroyed in the name of economic progress”.

Warhol changed the world of physical arts radically in the way he approached the subject and then portrayed it. Miyazaki movies approach animated arts radically in that they do not center on a good character overpowering an evil one. He says as a filmmaker he does not want to go through the unpleasant process of creating such characters. His inspirational mindset, focuses on solving problems and not creating them. He conveys his messages subtly, for instance he approached the gender problem by giving the lead to strong and empowered women.

Both artists are revolutionary and genius. By amalgamation their artwork, Kim has brilliantly used his artistic expression to enhance the message that Warhol and Miyazaki set out to convey.


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