Alvin Ruiyuan Zhong
Shiti-kun Through The Seasons
1920 x 1080 px
Shiti-kun is the unofficial mascot of Sydney created by Sydney-based media artist Alvin Ruiyuan Zhong as part of a year long exploration into Japanese mascot culture (yuru-kyara), and Japanese sensibilities to the aesthetics of cuteness, which often incorporate unconventional elements of laziness, the absurd and even horror, as unconventional to Western ideals of cuteness, which often focus entirely on the child-like. A yuru-kyara's effectiveness is dictated by it's ability to incur affect through depictions of clumsiness and earnestness. In this series, Shiti-kun promotes soothing and humble activities throughout the four seasons to calm the senses during these troubling times.
Alvin Ruiyuan Zhong is an emerging media artist and graphic designer from the University of New South Wales. His work primarily on symbols and imagery pertinent and embedded within pockets of Asian-Australian subcultures, usually operating with a lens of humour and nostalgia. His early work focuses on various aspects of Sydney's rave culture, exploring VJ-ing as a method of storytelling (No Captain, 2018), and fashion and brand iconography as methods of symbolisers of identity within Asian-Australian rave culture (Ganglands, 2019). At this current time, Alvin has been embarking on continuous year long research of the sudden burst of "cute/wholesome" aesthetics as a flip-side to his previous work, similarly using it as a tool to deconstruct Asian-Australian ideals of gender, masculinity, affect, and humour.