Miwa Yanagi’s photographs are instantly captivating. The Japanese artist’s bold and fantastical imagination carves out a unique photographic language and explores feminist themes with a potent vitality. Through all of her work she explores women’s place in society, orbiting around the feminist discourse like a moving satellite, offering new views from varying perspectives.
I was blown away by the surrealism in her images the first time I saw her prints. She made a short film on the Elevator Girls, which was awesome; different but identical-looking women weaved in and out of the frame, perhaps searching to satisfy their insatiable needs of consumerism.
According to Yanagi, Elevator Girls is about “myself and other Japanese women” who feel the kind of standardization that exists in modern Japanese society and elsewhere.
My favorite, however, is the Fairy Tale series where she explores traditional European fairy tales, dealing with the complexity of the relationships between younger and older women.
She is currently having a group show at the Contemporary Art Museum of Kumamoto, from 21/07/2007 to 14/10/2007.
Her exhibition at the Chelsea Art Musem, New York, has just ended on the 25th. However, you can still check out the write-up.