Via Beverly Tang’s blog, I found a curious site called Pearl Children. I don’t read Japanese, but it appears to be part of a handmade doll movement (hey, I noticed that obvious “handmade doll webring” thing on the bottom; nothing gets past me). Though I’ve not heard of this before, it’s not surprising given the explosive popularity of niche items like the underground “designer” vinyl toy industry (just check out a site like www.kidrobot.com to see a good cross-section of that stuff).
What really has me wondering is whether this set of dolls is inspired in any way by the “suicide clubs” or whatever they’re called in Japan. I forget where I first heard of them, but given the zombified look of these dolls, it seems plausible. Makes me wonder what hybrid fusion of industrial design, art and anthropologic recorder we’re creating with all this technology. More importantly, it seems like an uncomfortable decision might sometimes have to be made: profit from something like these suicide clubs, or try to draw attention to them (in order to end the practice) and kill the cash cow. Interesting situation. And this site probably has nothing to do with that trend.