Nihilisa Frank Asks, Is Kawaiilism the Answer to Our Existential Dread?

Before delving into the art of Nihilisa Frank, I had no idea such a thing as “Kawaiilism”, a.k.a. Cute Nihilism, existed. What is, on the surface, a cute drawing of a white kitten with a glittery crown and sparkling bracelets, is actually a piece of art bearing a nihilistic message: “Appearances are nothing more than radiant manifestations of emptiness”. My question is, then: how do you reconcile Kawaii art with Nihilism?

Nihilisa Frank kawaii

Let’s start from definitions. Nihilism is defined, by Merriam-Webster as “a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless. Nihilism has existed in one way or the other for centuries, but the philosopher who is associated with it the most is Friedrich Nietzsche. Yes, that Nietzsche, the one who proclaimed that “God is dead […] And we have killed him”. Kawaii, on the other hand, is the culture of cuteness, originated in Japan in the 1970s. It extends to all aspects of life, from gadgets to gender performance, that can be considered charming, vulnerable and childlike.

Nihilisa Frank Evokes Sunny Sunny Nihilism

At first glance, it would seem impossible to put these two concepts together: how can you make “nothing matters” look cute?

While researching Kawaiilism, I stumbled upon the notion of “Sunny Nihilism”. To sum it up, it’s the tendency of the younger generation to embrace the lack of meaning in life and being optimistic about it. “Our economy is in shambles, the planet is on fire, we are trillions of dollars in debt”, they seem to say, “we might as well have fun”. And, to be quite frank, it is an approach that I’d be willing to share.

Nihilisa Frank expresses this notion in her art, embedding messages of hopelessness, lack of meaning and superficiality of our world into images of cute pandas, dolphins and beaches. Her art seems to be inspired by that of Lisa Frank, and her pseudonym alone would suggest it. Lisa Frank is known for being the founder of Lisa Frank Inc. The corporation, as of 2019, was producing school supplies and stationary featuring rainbows, neon colors and stylized depictions of animals. Nihilisa Frank takes this type of designs into nihilistic territory.

Nihilisa Frank sunny nihilism

This art ties in perfectly with the notion of Sunny Nihilism I spoke of above. Optimistic Nihilists believe that one can be happy despite the utter meaningless of life itself. In his TEDx talk on Optimistic Nihilism, Elias Skjoldborg presents a plan of action to be “a happy emo”. His main point is that our existence is meaningless, as we are merely a speck of dust in an indifferent and infinite universe. His main goal is to be happy, instead of sitting and waiting for death, and one of the most important steps towards that is the attitude one has towards life. If we embrace our lack of meaning and the pointlessness of our lives, we can take the next step, the step towards the sparkling, cute dolphins. That is, we can enjoy our life because it doesn’t have any meaning, not in spite of this fact.

To sum it up, the art of Nihilisa Frank represents a possible solution to the spreading existential dread. As long as we are happy and making the most of our lives, the hopelessness we feel in the face of climate change, racism, wealth inequality and so on can be tackled with glee and sparkling penguins.

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27 comments on “Nihilisa Frank Asks, Is Kawaiilism the Answer to Our Existential Dread?”

  1. I had not a single idea about all of this before today I must confess. The article is so is well detailed, informative and quite interactive too. I loved every piece.

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  2. Nihilisa frank have really done a great job on this piece of article. I had no single idea about all of this before now. The article is educative and informative, nice piece of work I must confess

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  3. Good art of Nihilisa Frank,I think this art so colourfull,and it is realy suit for kids, because of cute and brightness of this art

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  4. Nihilisa Frank is A Great Art work.
    Before now,I have no idea about what it Means and It’s really meaningful to know we Happiness is all we need to Face all.

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  5. Nihisa Frank sure thought this true well enough. These definitions and quotes about Kawaiilism are interesting and eye catchy. Thanks for the new knowledge.

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  6. His main goal is to be happy, instead of sitting and waiting for death, and one of the most important steps towards that is the attitude one has towards life.

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  7. It is very true that our existence is meaningless and we need to be happy and enjoy out lives . I love the fact that Nihilisa Frank embedded this message of hopelessness in her art . I would love a
    Nihilisa Frank Shirt where lack of meaning is is embedded into cute dolphins and pandas..I love that kind of art

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  8. Well I do know what Nihilism meant technically but yeah this mentality really does exist depending on the person. It may be evident more on todays generation in my opinion but that is how it works what I mean is mindsets tend to be flexible as it should be with time. On a side note at least we now have Nihilisa Frank meme with this. He he.

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  9. Even when the art looks meaningless, Nihilisa Frank shirt looks so cute still. It means we can make anything beautiful by our perspective towards that thing.

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  10. This is a very nice and helpful quote. Thanks for sharing. His main goal is to be happy instead of sitting and waiting for death

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  11. I love Nihilisa Frank, you are right. The goal is to be happy always, yes the Country looks bad but are unhappiness won’t change a thing. More reason I see cuteness in this supposed meaningless ?

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  12. I never knew that an art like Nihilisa Frank actually existed until now. I never came across this art ever before. It seems like an animated artwork to me. It is quite colorful and attractive. I think this art can be used to catch attention of people because it is attractive.

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  13. Your output is interesting in that some nihilistic messages can inspire a sense of resilience. I could see a Nihilisa Frank meme going viral to lift people spirits in this somber reality. Sometimes, you have to embrace life’s unpredictable circumstances and just go with it. Thanks for this interesting read.

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  14. Wonderful information taken from this Nihilism. Their are lots of historical things which adds to learning life and make us to keep experience high .

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  15. It is glaring that Nihilisa Frank fanart loves art and he believes that our existence is meaningless and we have to be happy no matter what. Very educative and informative article about Nihilisa Frank fanart, I love this kind of art.

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  16. People face many problems like racism, inequality,climate change and the existence of an individual does not matter. Nihilisa Frank fanart combines Nihilism with Kawaii, the Japanese culture of cuteness. Use cute cats, horses and other creatures, it teaches us to remain happy despite the fact that we are inconsequential.

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