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Child statue in protective suit in Fukushima criticized

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Actually, I'm more wondering what was going through the artist's mind when he made a statue with a codpiece and what looks like a screw on top or something covering the genitalia. I mean, TIJ, but that's just weird.

Oh, and the long alien-neck.

28 ( +31 / -3 )

I want to say something like 'but the codpiece is for accuracy' or something like that, but I just can't, it does look so weird...

The statue itself I don't see the problem with and the artists explanation makes sense to me.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Right, and the meter on his chest is more misinformation too. We humans receive natural background radiation in our normal lives, there really is no "zero".

11 ( +14 / -3 )

"Contemporary art is abstract expression unlike science", words from the Mayor in Fukushima to explain the Boy with protective clothing. You're trying to allay people's fears.... so using "Abstract Art", which can be interpreted in various ways, may not be the best idea to do so. A kid with play clothes and a bug catching net might have been less abstract and more to the point.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Only in Japan

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Yanobe said he wants to discuss with the city about what to do with the statue.

Isn't is obvious?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Oh, that. I thought the controversy was about his complection and caucasian eyes...

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Technically, quite a nice piece. Artistically, meh.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

That’s just so messed up and wrong. I hope the artist seeks help.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Don't take it down.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Looking at this statue, we know what matter the most in Japan and where is the problem too. lol

°

NCM

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

“Kimochi wauri!” The whole thing is very creepy! Those big black eyes look like something from a Living Dead movie. The long neck is disturbing. And, the cod piece? Seriously? This is supposed to encourage children, not scare them! I can appreciate the artist’s intentions, but..........it’s a fail!

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Was this work commissioned, or did this artist just decide to make it himself? It seems he didn't think there would be such a backlash to this work, so now he is backtracking on his reason for making it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It is an unnecessary statue reminding the tragic accident. People want to forget about the disaster. I do not care buying cheap rice and peaches of Fukushima at supermarkets.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Mr Yanobe could have made a statue of a deformed flower or beetle.He might’ve made a plaque to the aborted babies in Fukushima.Maybe a gagged displaced senior citizen?

Personally, I find the dangers of radiation should be reflected in art so that people don’t forget what has happened.....

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The good thing is that the statue is only 6.20m tall. Phew!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So creepy and inappropriate. If I walked by that area every day I would deliberately take the long way around it.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I like it! It's weird, but/and cool.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Three questions.

Who commissioned it? ( I can't force myself to call it a work of art)

Who paid for it?

How much did they pay for it?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Personally I don't like it!

Its wrong, for me on a number of levels. Most of all the cod and breast pieces!

Also, this national obsession of depicting Japanese characters with round eyes!!! As if it makes them more endearing! There is nothing wrong with Japanese eyes, indeed they are are very attractive. Embrace your physical features, there is nothing wrong with them. We are all different, even amongst people of the same race, embrace those differences and be proud of them!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

But he admitted that his earlier explanation of the artwork -- such as calling the clothing "protective gear" and the device on the statue's chest a "Geiger counter" -- may have led to misunderstanding."

...What's to misunderstand? If not a protective suit with a radiation counter, what is it supposed to be?

Not the biggest fan of the art style, but I very much appreciate it NOT being a generic cutesy mascot or anime-girl.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think it should be taken down for being lame. Dumb, unattractive, non-art, rubbish...

2 ( +8 / -6 )

WTF? This is extraordinarily bad taste on many levels. I'm a fan of abstract art but this isn't art, it's crap! Udder crap! (yes, I have conscientiously used the word "udder" as opposed to "utter" before anyone gets their knickers in a twist...)

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Did Yanobe took inspiration from Astroboy? To quote Squidward Tentacles: "Everyone's a Critic". Art is art, deal with it. The artist is not responsible for how the other person perceives the art

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Oh great. We have the exact same one Ibaraki, Osaka, could've brought that one. I never liked it. It looks creepy. I rather they'd put a fountain or a stone statue or something.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

In line with a popular external image of Fukushima funnily enough.

Not sure about the codpiece though.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Apart from the other weirdness the child looks terminally ill.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Looks like a mutated Astroboy and whats with the codpiece? Reminds me of Bumblebee lubricating some bad robots.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I don't like the statue, but stopped reading when the article mentioned random opinions on Twitter.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

“My Precioussss!

-Gollum”

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Why the phallic gesture?

Why that gaunt, beaten down look with those ugly eyes and lashes?

Where is the imagination since everyone is speaking about art?

For all intents and purposes, the numbers could be a counter not a reader...

This has missed the mark for me on so many levels.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Not sure what the issue here is? It's art, it's not supposed to be scientifically accurate. Would we rip up and burn Picasso's or Van Gogh's works because they aren't scientifically accurate? This slide towards censorship is disturbing and should be countered at every turn

9 ( +17 / -8 )

This isnt art. Its junk.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

At street level you have this huge codpiece poking at you. Something aint right here...

A little background checking on the, ahem, "artist" may be in order.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

The placements of the circular metal thing are indeed weirdly placed and suggestive. So unnecessary. Though i must say the boy looks like my son.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Agree with others here, how dare this statue be put up. All art should conform to specific morals and standards and should be vetted by an art censor. People are taking freedom of speech and expression too far and we need to rein it in

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Merryanne, what gave you the idea it was art?

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

I think the 2011 man made disaster should make us uncomfortable. I applaud the artist for not being generically sterile in his art. Those complaining probably think this was an act of god and not one of greed and corruption. It wouldn't surprise me if TEPCO stakeholders weren't the most vocal about this issue.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Typical Japan.  Not very pleasing on the eye in my view.  How do we know it's a child?  also codpiece is to allow urination with minimum possibility of contamination.

Given the government's rubbish response to Fukushima thus far, not sure this is a major setback for Fukushima.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

what's the artist's message here? Fukushima radiation will make you into a freak of nature like this statue?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

While in reality, citizens are just hypocritical about the supersized urination outlet valve :)

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What to do with it? Put it underground away from the radiation, where it will be safe from view, like the last Fukushima mascot. フクッピー reboot?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Asinine, people are simply commenting and on this controversial plastic statue. And you want to shut the conversation down. Whats with that?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@cochise

I have absolutely no idea if asinine was even being serious or just sarcastic. I really, really hope it’s the latter. Otherwise, the screen name really fits.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I saw this at Grand Front Osaka.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"The clothing looks like protective gear, but it is also armor to confront major issues and, being like a space suit, it also carries a futuristic image."

Sorry, but if you have to explain what you meant by a piece of art in such detail then you have failed completely not only in getting your message across, but allowing the public to interpret it in a way that choose (that is not only negative). The artwork itself can be as the artist wanted, of course, but it's the decision to put it up that's questionable.

Well, okay, the "codpiece" as others have pointed out, is very weird, and the marks on the kids face, too. A very stupid idea for a representative statue.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

It reminds me of Sou Fujimoto’s architecture in that both exemplify the onanistic excesses of Japanese Sen thinking.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Spooky, tasteless, inappropriate, sick looking and just plain weird. Kids get a long good look. This is the world of confusion created for you by your adults...

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Don't see any problems with the codpiece. If some people here are naturally drawn to the genital regions of statues of children, I think we have a much more serious problem than an admittedly average statue. Hopefully these types will be investigated

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

There is also a robot version.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I hope he could have made the geiger counter active,

government is lying to people there , the place is extremely radioactive - just go with geiger counter there...

all that clean up is tatemae and not honne..

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Let's not just criticize the artist. I am sure there was a lot of red tape to get approval and get it positioned where it is. Who was involved in giving the permission to display this?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Looks like the hazmat suit hasn't done its job very well.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Are you happy to see me or is that a geiger counter in your pocket?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I have to say it looks a little weird.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

There reports that after a group of elementary school kids were taken to see an exhibition of Yanobe’s works, some were seen leaving in tears while others were overheard discussing going back on acid.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

The child statue looks infected with a disease or contaminated by radiation with the splotches on his face.

A prominent part of the statue is the crotch piece.

I don’t think this was intended to be purely uplifting. The designer has to have known it’s odd and is probably glad it’s made the news through controversy rather than stay in obscurity by abiding by the norms.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Codpiece, what codpiece? It looks like the truncated nub of a p***s. Also, what about those large, grey, metallic nipples? I suppose it's not such a bad thing that public money was spent so that the artist, Kenji Yanobe, can give expression to his weird sexual whatever - however odd and disturbing many people may find his work. All the same, yay for freedom of expression and the good judgment and wisdom of government officials!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Wellington: "If some people here are naturally drawn to the genital regions of statues of children,"

Speak for yourself, bud. It's at face level and made to stand out. That's like saying if you notice a fire burning you must be a pyromaniac. I suppose you think people who complain about porn mags being next to ice cream freezers in variety stores are perverts, but have no qualms about the people that put them there. You aren't abnormal or perverse to notice something odd about that part of the artwork, any more than suggesting the bruising or marks on the face mean you must like to abuse others or something equally inane. On the contrary, DEFENDING it and lashing out at critics automatically is more of an issue.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Let's not just criticize the artist. I am sure there was a lot of red tape to get approval and get it positioned where it is. Who was involved in giving the permission to display this?

Agreed. The government needs to step up and be more responsible and make better decisions on what is and what isn't shown to us in the public. They need to censor "artwork" like this so the public does not have to see it in the first place. They should decide themselves what proper art is and ban the rest

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Some pieces of art you either get, or you don't get.

Saw some Bridget Riley stuff recently and that actually gave me a headache. It just wasn't for me. Doesn't mean I think it should be removed from the gallery or its artistic merit should be in any doubt.

And if anyone finds the above pic in any way disturbing, clearly they've never seen works by Jake and Dinos Chapman. Now their stuff is dark.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

They didn't thought this over now, didn't they.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The whole point of art is to get people talking, so in this sense this artist has been entirely successful. There is nothing worse than art that no one notices or talks about, so well done to the artist!

As bad as this piece is, there will always be conservative prudes and virtue signalers out there and everyone is an armchair art critic, so almost all criticism can be dismissed out of hand

10 ( +12 / -2 )

what gave you the idea it was art?

It is a statue created by an artist. I suppose that’s a decent start.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Price ?

While some Fukushima residents have lost it all...and still live in non-permanent homes.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I took the 000 to mean he was out of air and he wanted to see the last of the earth with his own batter abused face

weird

10 ( +10 / -0 )

And just exactly how much did this cost?? I am sure the money could have been better spent else where.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Toasted Heretic: "And if anyone finds the above pic in any way disturbing, clearly they've never seen works by Jake and Dinos Chapman. Now their stuff is dark."

It's not just a matter of dark or disturbing in this case, it's WHY it's disturbing -- and that's because it is entirely inappropriate and even damaging to the reputation and industry of the area, not to mention the insult to the people there. If it were just going to see an exhibition and you have differing opinions, fine, but this was put for everyone to see in an area effected by the fallout (real and imagined) of one of the world's most serious nuclear accidents, and even where kids have been seriously neglected by an industry desperate to protect its image. Now, if that was the point, then mission accomplished, but I highly doubt it. This smacks more of the lack of foresight typical of local governments who draw large-busted teens bent over and showing panties in a pamphlet designed to spread sexual assault awareness or something. Then say they never thought there would be such a reaction.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Saw some Bridget Riley stuff recently and that actually gave me a headache.

I saw the same exhibition and loved it. Isn't is just crazy how people like different things!

And if anyone finds the above pic in any way disturbing, clearly they've never seen works by Jake and Dinos Chapman.

Yes, they're a tad intense, aren't they.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The neck of the helmet looks a lot bigger than the neck of the suit.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Jimizo, I thought most, thankfully, got disabused of that definition of art at about junior high school.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What's with the facial bruises and band-aid? Agree with the objections above. Get rid of it and come up with something more abstract or at least not so downright chillingly creepy no matter I place my eyeballs. Bleh and meh. Wasn't the Fukuppy debacle enough? Better luck next time, Fukushima mayor.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

no matter where I place my eyeballs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That protective suit would be useful in the center of Tokyo too, then as the radiation value is equally high as in Fukushima. Miss of sence. Why scaring people re nuclear plant as according to British experts now evaquation were needed.

Nuclear is the best to generate electric power. Less killed than from wind power. Less resources needed re civil nuclear than both wind power and sun power.

A nuclear plant of 3 300 MW like ringhals 4 in Sweden corresponds to two million sun power plant if a rather huge plant have an monthly income of €120.

If you have 207 GW nuclear power that corresponds to 126 million sun power plants. That is the complete population in Japan. If we divided it by three it will be 69 GW which demand one huge sun power plant on every household in Japan. I suppose that is close to wath you do have had. Am I right.

Just to get a figure of the effeciency of the sun power. Ridicoulus low as this example show.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Uh, C-A U, don't forget to add that nuclear power is "safe, cheap, and clean". Then ask the good people up and downwind of Fukushima's NPP. Jeepers, where have you been?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They should move this statue to Tokyo and put another smaller one in its place. I think it's too big. Had it been smaller and not yellow there would have been less to harp about. Since it had toured already then I am sure they have gotten some feedback along the same lines.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You could not pay me too go to Fukushima not for all the tea in China.

Yes, for all those complain this thing is ugly, absolutely,  the artist got it

right radiation is ugly and so is death.  You got a nuclear plant that is not contained and still spilling radioactive material into our oceans and into the ground soil makes Fukushima a hotspot and the rest of Japan, too.  The people who are trying to contain this hot mess still have not found a solution. 

Yes, this doll is ugly it was not meant to be beautiful, it was not meant to get ohhhs and ahhhs it was meant to get people to think and talk.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

At the time of the Fukushima disaster we had two coastal nuclear power plants here in California, both subject to failure under the same conditions that brought about the failure at Fukushima.....a once in a hundred years tidal wave. Bringing attention to the dangers of nuclear power is uncomfortable, but appropriate.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I only wish and hope the best for you guys there and never meant any harm.

Love Japan, you guys are cool.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Waouuh no one cares about money here (cost of that silly statue) and everyone thinks it is ok to waste it while people are in need. Amazing how many commentors are out of touch from real life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That dude is a punk, an artist stands by their work no matter the reaction from the observers.

Personally I think it's fugly and lacking artistically.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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