Super kawaii cleansing oil by Lisa Kohno for Shu
January 26, 2012
As I mentioned in a previous post, the first winner of the Shu Uemura art award was Lisa Kohno, who had the honor of designing the Florescent collection for the company. She also created the illustrations for two Asia-exclusive cleansing oils sold in duty-free shops, one of which I was able to get my hands on through E-bay. Sadly, it was not packaged well and the box was totally crushed by the time it arrived, and very greasy as the oil had leaked from the bottle. I'm a little upset that this is not in museum condition. Nevertheless the bottle and box have some very cute and whimsical pictures.
The box features a smiling, green-haired girl amidst pink bows morphing into butterflies. We've seen the conflation of butterflies and bows before - remember Alexis Mabille's Butterflies Fever palette for Lancôme last spring? I like that her makeup (yellow eye shadow, pink lips and cheeks) echoes the yellow fruits and pink butterflies.
One the bottle, the girl's profile is cleverly cut out so that the oil becomes her green hair, and a sprinkling of hearts is added to the mix.
Seems these girls and floating fruit are motifs for Kohno, as this work Eternal Flower (2010) can attest:
Bows are big for her too, as in The Afterlife Was Sparkling, (2010):
I tried to find out the inspiration for her work, but the only English translation I was able to find didn't make a whole lot of sense. From the Bambinart Gallery, which showcased the Eternal Flower exhibition: "Lisa Kohno draws her utopia in her works. Drawing helps her being herself and finding place where she gets peaceful mind in her works. Women appear in her works seem her self-portraits, but actually, they represent transcendent existence with eternity which Kohno adores. The theme for the exhibition is 'eternal flower'. She draws flowers blooming beautifully and eternally, and amorous figures with immortal life as if they are flower personified. These flowers and figures with eternity have beauty, but also come across awe and the image of coldness. That's because being immortal means that they don't belong to this world since every creatures have mortal life. The amorous aura of works indicates that acquiring eternal life is abstinentia even if it's for our hope or peace of mind." Uh, okay. Based on that, my take is that the girls aren't of this earth; they are otherworldly creatures in a utopia filled with flowers and fruits that are forever at their peak. And that's certainly a wonderful, worthy idea to represent.