Samuel Nugent and Kitman Yeung

Sexy Sexy Stabby Stabby Squishy Squishy

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Samuel Nugent, I’ll Be Your Boyfriend Now Nancy, 2022 Oil on linen with grosgrain trim, 25 x 35 cm
Samuel Nugent, I’ll Be Your Boyfriend Now Nancy, 2022 Oil on linen with grosgrain trim, 25 x 35 cm
Kitman Yeung, Magician, 2022 Digital print, 84 x 119 cm
Kitman Yeung, Magician, 2022 Digital print, 84 x 119 cm
Kitman Yeung, Underwater, 2022  Digital print, 84 x 119 cm
Kitman Yeung, Underwater, 2022 Digital print, 84 x 119 cm
Samuel Nugent, The Pathetic Jester, 2022 Oil on linen with woven trim, 30 x 40 cm
Samuel Nugent, The Pathetic Jester, 2022 Oil on linen with woven trim, 30 x 40 cm
Samuel Nugent, Hello Sidney!, 2022 Oil on linen with grosgrain trim, 25 x 35 cm
Samuel Nugent, Hello Sidney!, 2022 Oil on linen with grosgrain trim, 25 x 35 cm
Kitman Yeung, Lilith, 2022 Digital print, 84 x 119 cm
Kitman Yeung, Lilith, 2022 Digital print, 84 x 119 cm
Samuel Nugent, Jason! Mother Is Talking To You, 2022 Oil on linen with grosgrain trim, 25 x 35 cm
Samuel Nugent, Jason! Mother Is Talking To You, 2022 Oil on linen with grosgrain trim, 25 x 35 cm
Bodies, sex, gross, pervert, flesh, moist, desire, repulsion, young, juvenile, innocent, girlhood, stylised, voyeur, weird, fucked, disproportion, unreal, fake, idealised, lust, fantasy, romantic, intimacy, deformed, disquieting, dirty, sad, pathetic, , pleasure, erotic, violent, revenge. Intimacy gone wrong; erotic contemplation; idle fantasy; hatred of women–the world of slasher films and anime are a trillion dollar industry. Teetering on the edge of pornography, they indulge in the imagination of sexual misconduct, gratuitous violence and prepubescent, sexy but grotesquely collaged young female bodies. Despite the overwhelming stench of female sexuality in slasher and anime imagery, sexual relationships equal death–physically as the male perpetrator kidnaps, slices and dices ‘bad women’– or, spiritually–where the ‘good’ anime girl is transformed into a sex addicted vamp slave. Here, female promiscuity is punished and the virgin–the final girl–outlasts the villain by virtue of her purity. By upholding the misogynistic conventions of femaleness, her survival has been guaranteed. And her youth, purity, kawaii and denseness sustains hers fandoms lust and their wild imaginations for romantic and non-consensual relationships. Such images reinforce and normalise “entitlement to sex, infantilization of women, glorification of violence, hyper-competitiveness, misogyny, and heteronormativity” (Wellman, Meitl and Kinkade 2020, 662). LONG LIVE VIRGINS!!!!! Not satisfied to just watch slasher films and anime, fans indulge in a world of pure fantasy about the existence of their favourite characters by creating their own fan fiction or embodying them through cosplay. Indeed, these industries lean into their fans imaginations through sabbisu, or fan service. Sabbisu is articulated as the pandering to male viewers through the over indulgence in images which add no narrative value and solely function to excite and arouse fans–does it make you horny baby? (Lamarre 2006, 58). Sabbisu has become critical to the economic success of entertainment industries whereby those with romantic and erotic intimacies “will never tire of spending on related goods” (Kam 2013, 54). If indeed the character market prints money through their fans titillating sexual and violent fantasies, why are their leisure or sentimental outputs condemned? Looming for those who cosplay, and create fan art and fiction beyond simple fun, are accusations of otaku. Literally meaning ‘you’ or ‘your house’, the term was first introduced in 1983. Open to debate, otaku broadly refers to young male cult fans who are perpetually suspended in the unreality of slasher and anime images to the extent that they cannot reconcile the ‘real’ with the ‘imagined’. Their play and consumption is labelled perverse and useless in the ‘real’ world. Their idle fantasies, their possession of fan created objects and their symbolic possession of female characters are rendered a capitalist perversion and civic failure (Kam 2013, 45-7). Unnnnllllleeessssssssss, you make M$O$N$E$Y from it! Thiam Huat Kam nicely summarises the distinction between capitalist productivity and hedonistic leisure: “the logic here is that imagination performed for work or money is normal while that employed for mere gratification is not” (2013, 47). So, perhaps, one could read the outputs of fandoms as undermining capitalism’s attempts to infect every inch of imagination, fantasy and leisure. Maybe, maybe, maybe. There’s just one little problem… The moral panic around otaku has a legitimate foundation. In 1989, serial killer Miyazaki Tsutomu, The Otaku Murderer, kidnapped and murdered four young girls, drank their blood and kept their hands in his closet. In his possession were 5763 slasher, anime and pornographic films. Following Tsutomu, there have been a number of other homicides which have reignited the panic towards otaku. Although not all of the perpetrators identified as otaku, the proliferation of non-consensual images of sexual and violent abuse across slasher and anime films, and their everyday place in Japanese culture, suggests that these images and accordingly, acts of violence have been normalised, particularly through cinematic and entertainment experiences. The ocular experience of looking, and particularly the monocular lens we are concerned with here, is the experience of Scopophilia: the pleasure in using another person as an object of sexual stimulation through sight. For male viewers, female virgin characters are just so cute, so perky, so lovable, so cheeky, so sincere, so unaware, so adorably stupid, so scared, so damsely, temporarily tough and ‘manly’, and then back to super, super innocent again. She is the fantasy creation of man. This erotic way of looking at the female, controls her image and this control is a source of pleasure. As Mulvey reminds us: “the determining male gaze projects its phantasy on to the female figure […] women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness” (1975, 11). And so, to return to the beginning: intimacy gone wrong; erotic contemplation; idle fantasy; hatred of women– slasher’s and anime’s images of female bodies reinforce the male gaze and its incantation in transforming the ocular experience to sexual satisfaction, obsessive voyeurism and active controlling of an objectified other. Memorialised as the ideal of girlhood, the ultimate Mother and the epitome of sainthood– how do we escape the image of the virgin? For slasher films, the image of the virgin is the sexually pure, the absentminded teen, the white-laced nightie Sandra-dee. For anime, the virgin is a teen with big innocent eyes, significant breast enhancement and proportions that even Kim K can’t rival. Inarguably, images produced of women are an inexpensive and lazy creative endeavour which “feeds into male-dominated sectors of production, […and the churning] out quantities of softcore, frequently blurring the boundaries between pornography and non-pornography” (Lamarre 2007, 23). Through the significant reproduction and reinforcing of such images (and through the acknowledgement of rule 34), the utterly overwhelming power of sex images are glaringly obvious. In a culture where sexual acts and consumption are encouraged, how does one negotiate the dangers of repulsion and deviance? Perhaps we can contemplate these questions through the ocular experience of gazing upon the works in sexy sexy stabby stabby squishy squishy. Here, we are confronted with Samuel Nugent’s pornographic paintings of cartoons of dogs and foxes and who are not quite human. The virgin is replaced with homoerotic and furry forms whose queerness, fluids and moistness confuse the human hetero erotic sensibility. Contrastingly, Kitman Yeung’s figures possess the grace and flesh of human women, but whose body parts are abjectly erotic and unfamiliar. Sitting somewhere between erotic contemplation and wishfulfilment, Yeung’s images mimic the loss, lust and longing of the narcissist fan and challenge us to consider where our private masturbatory gaze lands. ALL HAIL VIRGINS! VIVA LA VIRGIN! LONG LIVE VIRGINS! By Rebecca Persic References
 Kam, Thiam Huat. 2013. “The Anxieties that Make the ‘Otaky’: Capital and the Common Sense of Consumption in Contemporary Japan.” Japanese Studies 33(1): 39-61. DOI: 10.1080/10371397.2013.768336.
Lamarre, Thomas. 2006. “Platonic Sex: Perversion and Shôjo Anime (Part One).” Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal 1(1): 45-59. DOI:10.1177/17468447706065841.
Lamarre, Thomas. 2007. “Platonic Sex: Perversion and Shôjo Anime (Part Two).” Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal 2(1): 9-25. DOI:10.1177/1746847706068899.
Mulvey, Laura. 1975. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” Screen 16(3): 6-18. DOI: 10.1093/screen/16.3.6.
Wellman, Ashley, and Michelle Bisaccia Meitl, and Patrick Kinkade. 2020. “Lady and the Vamp: Roles, Sexualization, and Brutalization of Women in Slasher Films.” Sexuality and Culture 25: 660-679. DOI: 10.1007/s12119-020-09788-4.
Rebecca Persic

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