Visual Response to Art and Literature Project
“super-frog saves Tokyo” by Haruki Murakami (Author of After Dark

Which surreal artist would you like to imitate? Carollyne Yardley

What is surreal about this short story and or After Dark? The main character interacts with a giant frog that believes he can save the world by battling a worm. The frog appears and disappears without notice. The frog seems to know everything about Katagiri’s life.

Create a piece of art that showcases both the surreal and Murakami’s style as key aspects in your piece.

Include the following items in your art piece either visually or through quoted material from the short story integrated into the artwork.

  1. the different components of surrealism definition- incongruous, irrational

    Example: The can of Pepsi, the bag of Doritos, and the beats by Dr. Dre headphones are on a realistic looking bear. It is irrational that a bear would wear headphones or snack on Doritos and Pepsi.

  2. references to “pop culture” or allusions to Western culture including authors

    Example: The only things that are in color and the Bears life our logos from pop culture. There’s life is entirely black and white, except for the Western culture images. The quotes include Bill Hicks, Benjamin Franklin, George Orwell and Walt Whitman.

  3. the fact that "truth lies outside the regimented world of human speech."

    Example: The “truth” in Bears life is showcased by everything being black and white. He has nothing to look forward to except for the dark tunnel ahead of him. There doesn’t have any quotes in this drawing famous authors speak for him.


  5. characters who the reader can sympathize with

    Example: The bear looks pretty sad his life is colorless. The only enjoyment he gets in life is by acquiring expensive gadgets like the headphones and eating junk food.

  6. - "philosophic and romantic points of interest"

    Example: The philosophy in this drawing is all about consumerism filling up your body and soul. The Bill Hicks quote about consumerism in popular culture being oppressive and keeping people stupid and apathetic wraps up the message I'm trying to bring out in this drawing.

  7. - “wild fantasy” that is "decidedly sur- and un-real in turns"

    Example: The picture of the bear in the park is incredibly realistic. You can easily see a large black tunnel next to the bear. Without words you can easily imagine Bears life being a long black tunnel of nothingness.

  8. - his subject matter, in the end, is "surprisingly (and very effectively) sentimental."

    Example: You instantly feel a connection to bear his eyes look soulful and sweet. Bear is very fat, probably from eating all of the junk food, and people looking at the drawing will instantly see themselves in bear. As a society, we have all become very lazy.

  9. an imitative color scheme, character look, or dream-like components of a particular surrealist artist

    Example: The Western pop culture references and quotes are all in color while everything else is in black and white.

You may work alone or in a group of 3 at the most.

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