How did the Cyberpunk world come to be?
Posted November 13, 2018 09:15:10If you were wondering how the world came to be known as Cyberpunk, you can thank the work of Japanese artist, Kenichiro Watanabe.
In 2011, Watanabes cyberpunk masterpiece, Tokyo Noir, was published by Kodansha.
His work quickly garnered a cult following, spawning a number of sequels and spin-offs.
He also worked on numerous anime films, and was the subject of an animated TV series called Tokyo Noir: A Cyberpunk Adventure.
Today, Watenabes works are displayed around the world.
He’s also a part of a global exhibition titled Cyberpunk World Art, which runs through December 5.
“When I first came to Japan, I was introduced to the Cyberpunks work through Watanabi’s book, which had just been published,” Watanaba said.
“I knew about Cyberpunk because I’d seen the books on my local library shelves, but I never really got to see it in person.”
It wasn’t until Watanagi visited Tokyo in 2009, that he came across Watanabis work.
“I’d read his book, and I was like, ‘Wow, this is really cool, but how did that happen?’
I was intrigued by his concept of a world where the government was controlled by robots, where it was all computer-generated, and that was kind of where the idea of the city came from,” Watananabe said.
The result is a futuristic vision of the future that’s still largely unknown to most, but Watanadi said he hoped the exhibition would bring people back to the world that they knew in the 1970s and 1980s.
“To be able to look at the future with a perspective that’s not only accurate but also futuristic, that’s where the inspiration for Tokyo Noir came from, from a futuristic perspective,” Watamanabi said.
“There’s a great deal of irony in the city being the most futuristic city in the world at the moment.”
The exhibit includes some of Wataname’s more controversial works, like the Tokyo Noir logo that’s seen as offensive to Muslims.
“A lot of my work was based on ideas that I came up with from a lot of Japanese society,” Wataneb said.
He said he hopes the exhibition helps bring the city back into focus and encourages more people to think about how the city can be a more modern place.
“We need to be aware of where we’re going, because it’s very easy to take things out of context,” Watana said.