The Art: Untitled
The Artist: Zain7
About the Work:
We’ve talked about Zain7’s work before, but it’s always a joy to revisit.
Combining the manga style with the realities of Japanese life, Zain7 captures the heart of a complex country often romanticised in art. Beneath the deceptively simple yet entrancing colour scheme and subtle, delicate lighting, there’s a sad kind of beauty to it all, and perhaps that’s never been better depicted than in this piece, which some fans have dubbed Capsule.
Where Kitchen was more overt in its message (if not the questions that it posed), this piece is more subtle. We get the sense of the arcade, but our focus is drawn to the girl in the arcade machine. It’s cramped, but she seems comfortable. In fact, it looks too comfortable. No claw game would be filled with that many prizes.
The sense of comfort is confirmed when you notice the girl has no shoes on. She’s taken them off, and left them by her bag. For whatever reason, she clearly wants to be in there.
There’s an obvious theme here: technology addiction. But considering a burgeoning trend in Japan, I think Zain7 may even be commenting on hikiomori.
Hikikomori – literally, “the confined” – are individuals (mainly teens) who seek a life of solitude. They spend most of their lives at home, avoiding social situations to the point of developing mental impairments. Nearly one million Japanese people are believed to be hikikomori.
Zain7 hasn’t produced much public work over the last few years, as she spends most of his time on professional projects, working on mangas including Sora Dragon and the Shin Megami Tensei franchise which, fans will agree, is a perfect fit for his unique blend.