April 5, 2017

Ghost in the Shell Art Collection

Ghost in the Shell
Movie 2017  | Anime  | Manga
curated by Yellowmenace (38+ images)

   I had to do a GITS art collection, with all the controversy swirling around this film I felt compelled to weigh in on the issues of whitewashing & appropriation. I'll be peppering my comments & supporting videos in with 38+ thought provoking artworks from talented artists around the world.
LA: Lindeman Associates - Ghost in the Shell

  HAIKU Review: Ghost in the Shell
What color's your soul?

Yellow ghost in white washed shell

Mirror doesn't reflect...

Abigail Diaz aka Serafleur - Ghost in the Shell

Abigail Diaz aka Serafleur - Society6 art prints banner
& Discover More Sarafleur Art @ Society6

Masamune Shirow 士郎 正宗 - Ghost in the Shell

   With GITS, as with most issues in life I stand somewhere in the middle. I'm actually excited about the project, unlike IronFist or Great Wall & will venture out to the theater to see it soon, but I think they could've been more inclusive &/or really made whitewashing an essential theme in the script.

Masamune Shirow 士郎 正宗 - Ghost in the Shell
 "Who can gaze into the mirror without becoming evil? The mirror does not reflect evil, but creates it."

 Ghost In The Shell (2017) - Official Trailer - Paramount 
Masamune Shirow x OtakuWorks (Japan)
Ukiyo-E Artisans: Kazuo Watanabe & Hideo Yoshida
ClogTwo aka Eman Jeman - Ghost in the Shell

Katsuya Terada  寺田 克也 - Ghost in the Shell

Artgerm aka Stanley Lau

Artgerm aka Stanley Lau - Society6 art prints banner

"Life perpetuates itself through diversity..."

Craig Drake - Ghost in the Shell
   Craig Drake did a very admirable thing by creating 2 versions of his GITS poster one with SoJo as The Major & the one above with his own imagined casting of Sonoya Mizuno. I have nothing against Scarlett Johansson & yes, it's plausible that a large robotics company in the future may own likenesses of long dead celebrities. Anyway, it's a shell in a very diverse neo Hong Kong. My issue is with the mental gymnastics mostly white male creatives go through to justify another white hero.

"Your effort to remain what you are is what limits you."

  Yellowface is a bad look, Hollywood by Vox - If you don't understand the problem with whitewashing after this video, you simply don't want to empathize, period.dot.

   The Major is a female lead & that is progress, but what's interesting is the argument often made by white Hollywood business insiders is that POC just can't carry international blockbusters. This is the same logic used against women in the action hero 80s & against black men in the 70s.

Martin Ansin - Ghost in the Shell
Martin Ansin (Uruguay) | Twitter

  Ghost in The Shell PSA by Chewy May - Here's what is means for a minority to find some popular media that represents them. When I was 5, I saw an IronFist & PowerMan (Luke Cage) comic & thought IronFist was Asian.
   These issues are as complex as they are important. There are white guys who identify more with Japanese culture, rejecting their own representations & move to Japan. This is a small fraction of the overall population, but the feeling of being an outsider & not fitting in is a completely common human experience. The difference lies in how often you are reminded by external forces that you aren't important in your society.  

   For more about these topics, check out The Nerds of Color
   Especially: Valerie ComplexDominic Mah

"Understanding is in principle solely based on wishful thinking."
Chester Ocampo aka Elpinoy - Ghost in the Shell

   I wish the GITS screenplay would've at least tackled this issue of whitewashing head-on with the agenda of the Puppet Master being complete diversity, equality & representation for all - android, cyborg, robot, shelless sentient AI, black, yellow, brown, LGBTQ, etc. Then use the Hanka CEO as a metaphor for the growing far right racist agenda. Throughout the film he could be saying, "preserving humanity & controlling our property", but what we would see on the screen is an all white enclave in Hong Kong fighting to preserve a pure white bloodline & maintain their place at the top of a crumbling pyramid (scheme). The Major would learn from the non-white "terrorists" that she has been a pawn in this plot, an Asian transferred into a white shell to do the Man's bidding.
Hydro74 aka Joshua M. Smith - Ghost in the Shell
Twitter | Behance | BigCartel

   Ugh! Finally saw the GITS movie & what a disappointment & it's not that it's bad... It just isn't good, or challenging, or fresh, or anything but a generic sci-fi action flick. 
   I'm so sick of these big empty Hollywood movies posing as profound, ground-breaking visions. Just be what you are! If it's a "safe" international blockbuster you want to make then just go full Michael Bay & use the script to loosely connect your huge CGI action sequences. Dive into those action scenes like John Woo or The Matrix & make them long & ridiculously complicated. 
   GITS felt a lot like The Great Wall to me. It was just there, like a competent screenwriter & director got together & followed all the rules of filmmaking they learned at school. 
   So, my review of GITS, it's fine. See it if your a fan or curious but don't expect much.
DCWJ aka Derrick Chew - Ghost in the Shell

  Re: Whitewashing in GITS - Yep, it bothered me how they tried to tack on the Major's Japanese mother subplot. It felt like more mental gymnastics to try & justify the whitewash casting. "See the Major had to be white so her mother wouldn't recognize her at first." I think you can do better.
   & Takeshi Kitano was just a WTF choice, as the only Japanese speaker in the entire film he seemed so very token trying to give the film some yellow cred. Alexander Iaccarino aka ThatKidWhoDraws - Ghost in the Shell
Tan Zhi Hui aka Kudaman - Ghost in the Shell

 Own this GITS Print @ Society6  
ImmarArt aka Immar Palomera - Society6 Art Prints banner

Jeremy Chong aka Mixppl - Ghost in the Shell

Hoi Mun aka Tham Mun - Ghost in the Shell

Felix Ip 葉偉青 - Ghost in the Shell
Felix Ip 葉偉青 (Hong Kong)
Kevin Hong - Ghost in the Shell

   I have a confession, GITS isn't one of my favorite animes. I wouldn't put it in my top 8 & I haven't read the manga, yet. The animation is fantastic & the action scenes are stunning, but it has that signature Mamoru Oshii - Skycrawlers pseudo-philosophical boredom. I think his sequel, GITS2: Innocence is a much better film, sacrilege I know.

   Here's an amazing video essay detailing Oshii's meditative, zen use of space & time by The NerdwriterGhost In The Shell: Identity in Space   

   What is your favorite GITS property?
   Manga, film, anime or art collection ;)
Muju Monster aka Ignatius Tan - Ghost in the Shell

The Arvo Brothers - Ghost in the Shell
The Arvo Brothers - Ghost in the Shell
WenJR aka Jonathan Romeo - Ghost in the Shell
Sangrde - Ghost in the Shell
Sangrde (Korea/US)

Matt DeMino - Ghost in the Shell

 Own this GITS Print @ Society6
Matt DeMino - Society6 art prints banner

ひと和 aka Hitowa - Ghost in the Shell
Ilya Kuvshinov - Ghost in the Shell
Ilya Kuvshinov - Society6 art prints banner

Jay Tablante - Ghost in the Shell
Jay Tablante (Philippines)
Tsuchinoko - Ghost in the Shell
Tsuchinoko - Ghost in the Shell
Tsuchinoko (France)
Pant aka Paolo Pantalena - Ghost in the Shell
Orlando Arocena aka MexiFunk - Ghost in the Shell

 Buy this GITS Print @ Mexifunk

Termsit Siriphanich - Ghost in the Shell
Termsit Siriphanich - Ghost in the Shell
Model: Piyawan Chitsamran