Erupting From The Streets

SuzanneClaessen_ToshikoMeetsTitanPtI

 

Toshiko Meets Titan Pt. I

SuzanneClaessen_ToshikoMeetsTitanPtII

Toshiko Meets Titan Pt. II

SuzanneClaessen_ToshikoMeetsTitanPtIII

Toshiko Meets Titan Pt. III

I created these for an Open Call for Submissions for the art magazine ArtAscent, under the theme “Magnificence”.

Toshiko meets Titan pt. I, II, and III are three illustrations that tell a story together. It is the story of the magnificence of metamorphosis, both in a literal and metaphorical sense.

Literally, the images depict the transformation from a dark egg-like stage which gently yet carefully unfurls, shedding a dark skin to reveal a glorious coloured body. This insect-like transformation recalls Tezuka Osamu’s manga character Toshiko Tomura, from The Book of Human Insects. Just like Toshiko, the entity of my illustrations sheds a dark skin, not just to become a better version of itself, but to articulate the crossing paths of humans and insects.

Metaphorically, the illustrations represent an interplay of humans and “Titans”, in response to Hajime Isayama’s manga series Attack on Titan. While the ‘advancing giants’ in these series are often said to represent “the hopelessness felt by young people in today’s society”, the giant creature of my illustrations radiates a message of hope. Instead of destruction, this creature embodies creation. Instead of the suppressor, this creature is the suppressed one who learns to stand up for itself and learns to shine. It learns to be itself despite its differences from others; it learns to break free from a protective shell, to become vulnerable, and as it does so, its confidence and joy is allowed to take on a magnificent size and shape.

The illustrations are a scream for anyone’s journey. It is anyone’s rags to riches tale. That is, anyone who dares to confront oneself and others with a magnificent sense of self.

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