Flotilla – a pleasure trip with Yuru-Kyara, James Fisher

17 Oct 2019 – 10 Nov 2019

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

White Conduit Projects

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

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Flotilla presents recent paintings, drawings and objects by James Fisher. His work deploys motifs that relate to the Japanese phenomenon of kigurumi, which roughly translates as “dressing up as a stuffed toy”.


Fisher has become increasingly preoccupied by the potential of humour in images to disarm, and kigurumi allow him to explore this. Yuru-kyara, meaning ‘amateur’, ‘loose’ or ‘careless’ characters,

is a Japanese term for a category of mascot figures; usually created to promote local regions and cities. Banks, broadcasting corporations, tourist attractions such as hot-springs and shopping districts, as well as civic organizations such as airports and dentists, also have their own Yuru-kyara.

In the images, Yuru-kyara appear as figures held within the frame of a boat sail.
The anthropomorphized figures are characterized by their use of a kawaii aesthetic – they are cute or childlike. These Kigurimi are playful but they are also held fast by rigging and ropes. For Fisher, this contradiction has comic power. The boats are emblematic of pleasure and of a kind of joyful escape, but they also remind us of the artists Martin Herbert writes about in his book* Tell Them I said No, who, for various reasons, have withdrawn - or floated away.

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