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Dreams of Japanese Women: Miwa Yanagi

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My Grandmothers/YUKA (2000) by Miwa Yanagi
H1600 x W1600mm Lightjet Print

(this article first appeared in the may 28, 2007 issue of newsweek international)

Female Forms

In Miwa Yanagi's striking photographs, Japanese women waver between society's expectations and their own deepest desires.

Miwa Yanagi was feeling lost. It was the early '90s and she had recently earned a master's degree from Kyoto City University of Arts. Short on money and ideas, she took a job teaching art history, but felt guilty about not making art. During her commute each day, she observed uniformed young women operating elevators in big department stores. Then one day, it hit her: she might have been wearing a suit, but she wasn't any different from those elevator girls. She was playing the role of teacher, just as they were playing their parts. "I thought, everybody was trying to meet others' expectations in this society," she recalls.

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Maiko Haruki in Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

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Dazaifu 4 (2007) by Maiko Haruki from "unify"
Courtesy of Taro Nasu

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Momoyo Torimitsu rejects kawaii culture

An interview with the New York-based Japanese artist, Momoyo Torimitsu, ran in The Japan Times.

Rejecting kawaii culture: New York-based Momoyo Torimitsu refuses to lump herself in with artists inspired by anime

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007 - By Kay Itoi

Momoyo Torimitsu (b. 1967) is a little tired of being remembered for Jiro Miyata, a life-size robot she created based on a middle-aged salaryman in 1994. But who could forget? Miyata, which Torimitsu had crawl around the streets of Tokyo, Paris, New York and other cities, so brilliantly embodied the hard working, misunderstood, badly dressed everyman of Japan's post-bubble era. But the artist has since moved on.....

To read more, go here. (Free registration needed.)

Regional Roundup Tokyo is up at ARTINFO

Regional Roundup Tokyo: Trend Spotting and Parallel Lives is up at ARTINFO. Go here.

Shows mentioned are: "MOT Annual" at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; "Takao Minami―In Penta" at Ota Fine Arts; "Rieko Hidaka" at Tomio Koyama Gallery and "Shizuka Yokomizo: Prayer" at Wako Works of Art.

Yasumasa Morimura interview on ArtNet

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Yasumasa Morimura prepares for his performance at Shugoarts on Nov 11, 2006. Photo by David Noble.

"Season of Passion: Interview with Yasumasa Morimura" is up on ArtNet magazine.

It was a rare opportunity to witness the artist Yasumasa Morimura transforming himself into a work of art. At the opening of his show at Shugoarts on Nov. 11, 2006, titled "Season of Passion/A Requiem: Chapter I," Morimura showed up in a plain black sweatsuit, and talked in his typically gentle tone for 10 minutes about his new series to an attentive, overflow audience.

Click here to read more.

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