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"Cyborg Lolita" Julie Watai's Uncanny Valley of Kawaii

Photographer Julie Watai brings manga to life in her stylized portraits of girls dressed as robots.
Wearable Computing, 2012. All images courtesy the artist.

Photographer Julie Watai brings manga to life in her stylized portraits of girls dressed as robots, girls friending androids, and girls playing with gadgets. "I love places and things that feel futuristic like digital gadgets so much," she tells The Creators Project.

"All of my photos feature a female model. I think girls present a very beautiful motif. Whenever I get a pretty model in the frame, I get a feeling of satisfaction knowing that I have in a way preserved her beauty. Or the fantasy world I've dreamed up. Female models help create the world."


The Creators Project visited with Watai in Tokyo to learn more about her artistic process:

"Oftentimes people focus too much on the sexuality of my artwork, and women in particular have a hard time resonating with it. So, this time I decided to make art that is aimed more at women than men."

Wearable Computing, 2012

"One thing that all of my artwork has in common is that I never try to portray too much reality […] I try to create images that allow people to experience the best parts of photography and 2D or planar art at the same time. I do a lot of after-treatment on the computer, but a lot things I've learned have shown me that illustrations in manga after appear as if they were shot with a wide-angle lens. So I almost always user wider-angle lenses when taking photos."

HYPER Kawaii!!!!, 2013

"Whenever I shoot a self-portrait,I think of my body as just another prop, another piece of the picture."

Love Valley, 2014


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