The Power of Cute

A video essay unpacking the lure and sinister nature of cuteness.

What power does cute hold in today’s world? Its pervasive, adorably sweet facade dominates our online media and social landscape, yet its proximity to capitalist systems leave us suspicious and uncomfortable. This film unpacks the concept of cuteness in contemporary culture through interviews with seven exhibition contributors whose work and lives interact with cute’s extraordinary and complex power dynamic. Together, they consider how cuteness seeks to enhance, disrupt, and re-imagine the world we live in today.

Cuteness is a double edged sword. I'm both sickened by cute and attracted to it.
Ed Fornieles



    Ed Fornieles
    Ram Han
    Rachel Maclean
    Hattie Stewart
    Alake Shilling
    Chris Zhongtian Yuan

    Hello Kitty Collector:

    Amy-Louise Allen


    Directed, Filmed & Edited by:

    Yvonne Zhang

    Supported by the Rothschild Foundation


    Helena Geilinger

    Executive Producer:

    Eleanor Ritter-Scott


    Lizzie Watts

    Cute: An Exhibition Exploring the Irresistible Force of Cuteness in Contemporary Culture, at Somerset House, 25 Jan - 14 Apr 2024.

    Principal Partner: Sanrio