“I am terrified of high school girls,” admits artist Takumi Kama. “If I encounter a group of them on a train there is a high possibility I will escape to another car.” And Kama surely isn’t alone in his fears.
In Japan, this adolescent subset of beings known as joshi kōsei (女子高生) are fetishized and eroticized to the extreme in all types of media. But instead of hiding from his fears, like he normally would do, Kama has decided to confront them head on in the only way he knows how: by creating intriguing anthropomorphic portraits of schoolgirl animals.
Made entirely from pencil, ‘Schoolgirl animals’ depict various wildlife – deer, turtle, pig, wolf – each dressed in high school girl uniforms. In order to create his eerily natural portraits, Kama engaged in intensive studies of both the animal, but also the high school girl counterpart. He shares on his blog some embarrassing yet humorous stories about attempting to print pictures of girls at neighborhood print shops and convenience stores.
The series is currently on view at BAMI gallery in Kyoto through May 31, 2015.
(all quotes translated from Japanese to English by the author)