Waiting For Black Dahlia

Amy Meng

July 2022

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Waiting for Black Dahlia is an investigative survey on the connections between kawaii culture and Surrealism through a psychoanalytical perspective. I am particularly invested in how ideas of the ‘bishōjo’ and ‘femme-enfant’ coincide to shape the ideal female, and consolidate the infantilisation and objectification of women. The story of the Black Dahlia murder serves as a catalyst for my interrogations on the portrayal of femininity in Surrealist and kawaii aesthetics. Employing ‘women’s work’ and floral motifs, I use my needle as a tool to cross-examine the romantic fantasies associated with the youthful beauty, where women are rendered as the definitive Other, ready to be molded into vessels of eros. At the same time, I seek to address the subversive potential of Surrealism and kawaii. The desire to express in both cultures prompts me to craft alternative narratives, in which the hypersexualized female is able to materialize her emotions and psyche.


Amy Meng is a fiber-based interdisciplinary artist living and working on Gadigal land, Australia. She holds a Bachelor in Architectural Studies from the University of New South Wales, and an MFA from the Fiber department at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her work has been exhibited across the United States and Australia, and featured in several publications, including Curious Magazine and OyeDrum.

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