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Miwa YANAGI: Po-po Nyangnyang
Written by In the document   
Published: July 14 2009

Miwa Yanagi "Windswept Woman Ⅱ" (2009); © Miwa Yanagi, courtesy of The National Museum of Art, Osaka

After completing a graduate degree at the Kyoto City University of Arts, Yanagi began to receive almost immediate recognition following her first solo exhibition in 1993. Her work has continued to be highly esteemed on the basis of solo exhibitions at the Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (Kawaga) in 2004, the Hara Museum (Tokyo) in 2005, and at museums in New York and Houston as well as for her participation in a variety of international exhibitions throughout the world. And after being selected to represent the country at the Japanese Pavilion starting June 7 at the 53rd Venice Biennale, Yanagi is once again attracting attention. Among Yanagi's best-known works are series of photographs such as “Elevator Girls”, “My Grandmothers”, and “Fairy Tale”, which make use of computer graphics and special makeup, and video installations that are related to her photographs. From the various images of women in contemporary society that are projected in her work, we are confronted with a number of issues that are concealed within our own lives such as gender, aging, life and death, and the relationship between the self and others. In this exhibition, the artist's first solo show in Kansai in seven years, along with the entire “My Grandmothers” series, in which female models dress up as the person they would ideally like to become in 50 years, we present the first domestic showing of Yanagi's latest series, “Windswept Women”, which will next travel to the Venice Biennale. It is our hope that viewers will not only enjoy the individual works, but might also take an interest in the creative advances Yanagi is making in her work including the carefully considered structure of the exhibition. * The text was provided by The National Museum of Art, Osaka.

Last Updated on June 20 2009

Editor's Note by Satoshi Koganezawa

Solo exhibition of Miwa Yanagi, who was a representative artist at the Japanese pavilion of this year's La Biennale di Venezia. The previous exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, exhibited only the “My Grandmothers” series. In comparison, her new work, the “Windswept Women” (4000×3000mm) series, which was announced in Venice, is exhibited in addition to the “Fairy Tale” series of the old work in this exhibition. It is suggested by the music of “The Old Girl’s Troupe” (10min.) that the old woman posing and showing off huge breasts in the large photograph is actually dancing. Though it seems rather dramatic, we do not find it shows an admiration for aging, but rather Yanagi’s sarcastic eye on rejoicing and sorrow. It is also interesting to view the exhibition “Artists from KEIO” which is being simultaneously held on the B2 floor, and to see the clear delimitation between the exhibitions.

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