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Critical design in JapanMaterial culture, luxury, and the avant-garde$
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Ory Bartal

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526139979

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526139986

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Hironen and the representation of the other

Hironen and the representation of the other

(p.151) 5 Hironen and the representation of the other
Critical design in Japan

Ory Bartal

Manchester University Press

This chapter focuses on the furniture and jewellery designs created by the Hironen Studio from 1987 to 1995. The symbolic objects produced in this studio belong to the design-art genre and present the discourse concerning difference and otherness through a decadent visual style focused on extreme individualism, narcissism, and personal identity. This discourse is engaged by means of a transgressive visual strategy based on two aesthetic sources: the camp aesthetic stemming from Queer theory and its formulation of postmodern otherness and the Japanese ero-guro-nansensu (erotic-grotesque-nonsense) genre, which emerged in bourgeois popular culture during different periods in Japanese history, and similarly combined unconventional forms of behaviour. The visual combination of these aesthetic genres in contemporary design amounted to a visual protest against hegemonic taste as a representative of class, gender, and power.

Keywords:   Design art, ero-guro-nansensu, Queer design, Decadence design, Rumpelstiltskin, Adolf Loos, Biedermeier, Otherness and design

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