Social photosynthesisSocial Things
“People were attracted to cute design for its warm, cheering qualities… These type of products could
disguise and compensate for the very alienation of individuals from other people”.
⸺ Sharon Kinsella, Cuties in Japan, 1995
A: What kawaii means to you?
Q: To us, kawaii means creativity, self-expression, positivity. Kawaii is something bright, sweet and lightens up your day… some of our readers said kawaii means cuteness and fun, but there were also a few readers who said that they see it more as an escape, a happy place away from the harshness of the world.
⸺ Alessandra and Deborah, the editors of the blog “Kawaii Gazette”
Based on the research previous term, I attempt to dig deeper into the underlying significance of kawaii to my tribe. Though the cute appearance of costumes and commodities (which might result in invisible pressure sometimes since being distinctive from a normal group) cheer kawaii lovers up and show their personal identities, “kawaii” is a symbol of a peaceful space in their mind to release stress suffered from the outside world.
Taking time to be alone and immersed in their interests is not necessary to be isolated. Solitude is a choice and even can be a healthy, rejuvenating self-therapy experience that allows them to reconnect with their own needs, goals, beliefs, values, and feelings. But when a person experiences too much solitude or feels socially isolated from others, he or she may develop feelings of social isolation among others.
For this process, I try to use photosynthesis as a metaphor for this specific mental status. Green plants use sunlight[the therapeutic power of kawaii], water[isolation] and carbon dioxide to synthesise nutrients[energy for introvert] then generate oxygen and water[isolation]. People can get energy from solitude state with the help of kawaiitherapeutic power, whereas the feeling of isolation is still existed and never left.