Soft Cover, English, Thread Stiching, 80 Pages, 2017, ISBN 978-3-906803-28-9
Perfect Cherry Blossom
Perfect Cherry Blossom presents the first and long-awaited collaboration between British artist Oliver Payne and Japanese pop artist Keiichi Tanaami. For this new series, Payne has reworked original drawings by Tanaami, adding stickers featuring motifs from Japanese “bullet hell” games.
This subgenre of “shoot ’em ups” is special in that the games are not only beautiful, chaotic and psychedelic, but they represent a niche in the world of hardcore arcade shooter games that could be considered the pure video games par excellence. Unlike most popular game genres that borrow from cinema and current pop culture in general, bullet hell games are self-enclosed worlds concerned exclusively with their own, often very complicated, systems and rules.
For Payne, the driving force in these games is “pattern”: the patterns of “bullet curtains”, for example. Gamers memorize the patterns of movement through a level and learn to recognize patterns in the behavior of the enemy boss. These patterns can be very pretty and very complicated.