Anoushka Das

Wabi sabi

Artist Statement

In an ever-changing society, beliefs and values defining beauty are always shifting. For generations, beauty was codified by a particular build. Symmetry was desired and youthfulness went without saying. Naniwaya Okita, whose portrait is featured in this artwork, depicted the height of Edo aesthetic taste in beautiful women. Modern times place the power to define beauty in the hands of the people. Harajuku’s colourful and diverse movements show exactly this, featuring styles strictly against societal rules. Okita takes control, representative of society being more inclusive, welcoming a culture of big-tent beauty where ‘we are all beautiful’.

Artwork Process

Appropriation of Utamaro’s Portrait of Naniwaya Okita 1793, digitally drawn and animated frame by frame. Edited to include sound and other effects, looped continuously.

About the Artist

  • Name: Anoushka Das
  • School: Brisbane State High School
  • Artwork: Wabi sabi
  • Media: Digitally animated video, 16:9, 0:24 minutes (looped), colour, sound

The word culture is derived from the Latin word cultura meaning to inhabit, cultivate, or honour. Culture is learned, and people living in different places have different cultures. The arts are a vast subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavours and disciplines. Art is so diverse and there are many ways to understand it as people; people look at art based on how they have experienced it. As an artist, I don’t make my art in the hopes of communicating a singular, defined message, but rather to create an experience for viewers, from which they take away their own message. One of the main inspirations for my art is culture; my own culture as well as other cultures. Art has the power to take cultural practices from their origins, transporting and integrating them into other parts of the world without losing their identity. Art can be used to entertain, create awareness, and even inspire foreigners to accept all cultures, no matter how unusual or alien they may seem. This is especially prevalent in today’s globalised world, playing an essential role in preventing racism and other forms of unjust societal segregation. Art ensures that identities and their cultures are given due recognition around the world.