Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Imaginary deaths, real grief: Thai artist, fans honour anime heroes



Imaginary deaths, real grief: Thai artist, fans honour anime heroes

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Palette Artspace art curator Watjanasin Charuwattanakitti saluting an oil portrait. AFP

Imaginary deaths, real grief: Thai artist, fans honour anime heroes

Portraits of dozens of anime characters, each with a small altar for fans to leave flowers, adorn the wall of a Bangkok gallery – a tribute to fictional heroes who met an untimely death.

The 2D Afterlife exhibit is made up of 50 of these creations from artist Jinnipha Nivasabut, who wanted to mourn the deaths of her favourite characters in popular shows and manga series.

The core concept “is to explore the idea of why the deaths of these fictional characters could have such an impact on real people,” the 22-year-old anime lover said.

Eschewing anime’s cartoon style, she instead painted the fallen heroes with the realism of stately oil portraits.

“In my memories, I see these characters as real persons. They’re like members of my family so I decided to draw these characters to resemble real persons as much as possible,” she said.

Japanese anime and manga enjoy mainstream popularity in the kingdom, with frequent conventions held in pre-pandemic Bangkok that would draw massive crowds of cosplayers.

Jinnipha said she wanted her work to not just serve as fan art, but as a participation experience for both her and the massive fan base supporting each series.

Below each portrait, a small shelf acting as an altar allows the public to place flowers and Fanta soda drinks – typical Thai offerings to the dead.

Sasha Braus, a beloved character from the ultra-popular Attack on Titan series, had a potato left on her shelf – a reference to her love for food on the show that earned her the nickname “Potato Girl”.

“They know that she loved potatoes so one of them came here and put it on the shelf for her,” said gallery visitor Kullanit Assawawongkasem, 19, who added that she was “devastated” when the character was killed.

But “seeing these portraits, especially of Sasha, I’m not exactly sad,” she said.

“It’s the opposite – I’m kind of glad that people still think of her.”

The exhibit, hosted at Palette Artspace in Bangkok, ends on August 3.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’