Filtering by Tag: tomoko sawada

US photo exhibit address identity issues. Tomoko Sawada's "Facial Signature" on view at ROSEGALLERY

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Japanese artist Tomoko Sawada says Americans often tell her she looks Korean or Chinese or a number of other East Asian ethnicities. The experience inspired her to open a new exhibit in Los Angeles, called "Facial Signature." CCTV America's Patrice Howard reports:

human beings share 99.99999 percent of the same genes. All of us — despite having different types of so-called “added cultural values” — such as nationality, race, religion, and language — are by nature and essence equal to one another.
— Tomoko Sawada

LA Times: What does 'the Asian woman' look like? Artist explores identity with 300 self-portraits

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Sharon Mitzota reviewed Tomoko Sawada's Facial Signature Exhibition for the LA Times on 3 March.

Tomoko Sawada,  Facial Signature , 2015. (© Tomoko Sawada / ROSEGALLERY)

Tomoko Sawada, Facial Signature, 2015. (© Tomoko Sawada / ROSEGALLERY)

"Tomoko Sawada has photographed herself relentlessly, dressing up Cindy-Sherman-style as schoolgirls, twins, brides or other characters since the mid-1990s. Her new work at ROSEGALLERY, “Facial Signature,” consists of 300 self-portraits that are remarkable for how Sawada achieves variation within very narrow parameters: the American notion of “the Asian woman. . .The repetition leads to a much less sanguine conclusion that despite our personal styling, to America, Asian women all still look alike.”

Read the article in it's entirety HERE.


Artist Talk, Tomoko Sawada at Lumix Meets Beyond 2020 by Japanese Photographers #3

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Artist Tomoko Sawada is to speak with art journalist Suzuki Yoshio at the Lumix Meets Beyond 2020 by Japanese Photographers #3 on 26 January 2016.  The talk will cover the topic of self-portraiture and the production of works in foreign countries.

"'LUMIX MEETS BEYOND 2020 BY JAPANESE PHOTOGRAPHERS' project, under Panasonic Corporation sponsorship since 2013, we start the aim of the future with the support of young photographers to lead the Nippon Photography training. Every year we hold an exhibition in Paris and Tokyo and we are well received from people of many spectators. The third round and will 'LUMIX MEETS BEYOND 2020 BY JAPANESE PHOTOGRAPHERS # 3' exhibition at this year with the new members, we approach to the further possibility of photos." 

[Translated from Japanese via BEYOND 2020]

26 January 2016 from 8 - 10 PM

IMA Concept Store
Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 5-17-1 AXIS building 3F


For more information on BEYOND 2020 visit their WEBSITE
Event details via IMA Concept store HERE


Ihei Kimura Award 40th Anniversary Exhibition

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On View at The Kawasaki City Museum
18th July - 23rd September

                                                                 "OKAMI" from "Costume" ©Tomoko Sawada 

                                                                 "OKAMI" from "Costume" ©Tomoko Sawada 

The Ihei Kimura Award, one of photography’s most prestigious prizes, has been given to a number of now-iconic photographers. For the award’s 40th anniversary the Kawasaki City Museum presents photographs from its collection that have received the prize, representing each of the 40 years. This exhibition leads visitors through a tour of contemporary Japanese photography.

Open: 9:30 - 17:00 (Last admission 16:30)
Close: Mondays, the day after national holidays, and New Year's holidays, with the following exceptions:
-Open on national holidays
-Always open on Saturdays and Sundays, even after national holidays

Todoroki 1-2, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki-City, Kanagawa Prefecture 211-0052
(Situated in Todoroki Park)
TEL:044-754-4500  FAX:044-754-4533


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We are delighted to share a few images sent to us by Tomoko Sawada of her new work Facial Signature now on view at MEM in Tokyo.


The face is a signature that with singular particularity signals one’ s identity. Even if a person’s body type approximates someone else’ s whom you know, you will not recognize the person precisely until you glimpse the face. Both nationality and race enhance the precision, but otherwise they do not alter the inherent act of processing perceptions. With intended irony to engender confusion, I re-state that we human beings share 99.99999% of the same genes. All of us despite having different types of so-called “added cultural values—such as nationality, race, religion, and language - are by nature and essence equal to one another.

The genesis of the project Facial Signature grew out of my experience in New York City over a number of years. There were many political problems of different East Asian nations, but I didn’t pay attention to them and made friends with diverse people. At one point while there I had an epiphany, realizing that others were not necessarily seeing me as Japanese. I was told at various times that I looked Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Singaporean, Mongolian, et cetera (and only occasionally Japanese). This made me consider the intuitive process by which people achieve cognition of true or false archetypes. Following this trick logic and to discover what I could (and “could not”) be or become transformed myself 300 times to look like a variety of East Asian women.

Tomoko Sawada
Kobe, Japan

Venue: MEM map
open hours:12:00-20:00 closed on Mondays
tel. +81-(0)3-6459-3205