This is a project at the crossroads of art and fun character design taking shape as a collection of 33 wannabe deities printed on large cards and an altar installation exhibited in Urban Spree (Berlin, part of the Pictoplasma Festival 2016). The latter shrine filled with 70 candles, a praying mat, a holy felt purse holding the extra large cards you could take home - if willing to kneel down to reach them, the old, worn-out statue of Chillax on a red cushion and an ornamented halo behind its head. Here is the only lo-fi instagram video I have of this.
The concept of a parodious modern polytheism came to me when I was in my first year of junior high school: the geography and history teacher introduced us to ancient Greek and Egyptian mythologies, and started that by saying "the specialties of each deity was of course all the things that were important in people's daily lives of the time, so if we still were polytheists, no doubt you would worship a god of grammar and another one ruling over mathematics before the tests". We all laughed, imagining the surreal religion that would be, and somehow, it sticked with me for 20 years. Even atheists can stay subtly superstitious without even noticing it ; and despite all the science we have, we still wonder about the seemingly irrationality of an infinite number of things, from the most trivial, often lying in a mere cognitive bias, to the most mysterious and awe-inspiring. Focusing on the former, I started to think about those contemporary questions that were calling for a fake deity, which made the top of each nanokami's page. Then, I proceed with the actual character design in which there is always a good chunk of symbolism, making their features related to their skills. The information is one thing they hate and one thing they love (in case you would like to attract or repel their presence), a name, a title, and a little text explaining what they do and giving some funky anecdotes on the way.