Why Geisha is now Panda

over 5 years ago from Ahmet Sulek, founder @ usepanda

  • Allison HouseAllison House, over 5 years ago

    Appropriation has different implications in art, but probably safe to assume the juxtaposition of naked, cartoonishly overweight "geishas" flying a banner that says "XXX Asian Chicks" with a photo of white women pillow fighting in their underwear is not endeavoring to be respectful or sensitive on any front.

    2 points
    • alec salec s, over 5 years ago

      I was asking a serious question. I always liked his work but never really thought of it as offensive, and I don't think he means it that way either. Perhaps in the same way the logo wasn't meant to be offensive.

      Admittedly, it's probably more the style of illustration that appealed to me rather than the content. I'm all for empathy, don't get me wrong. But after reading this thread I instantly thought of it and figured it was worth bringing up.

      0 points
      • Allison HouseAllison House, over 5 years ago

        It was a serious response! It's definitely a cool style of art, and I agree most folks aren't out to spread discriminatory attitudes. But prejudice is embedded so deeply in our culture—so bizarrely normalized in media, pop culture, social scenarios, and so on—that we forget (or in many cases, never know) those experiences exist. They may even accidentally emerge in our work.

        I see misogynistic and racist undertones in these illustrations, but that doesn't mean it was his intention. It could mean he didn't think about it, or doesn't think it matters, or maybe he's making a killing so he ignores those issues, or maybe he's lived in Japan and feels enough ownership to take liberties with cultural imagery. I don't know, but we can say with some certainty he doesn't approach his work with an anti-racist or anti-sexist point of view. As an artist, maybe that's okay... but if this were branding for a product with a global audience, it would be way out of line!

        2 points