Filtering by Tag: Tomoko Sawada
Since her 1999 breakthrough series, ID400, Tomoko Sawada’s work has remained at the cutting edge of conceptual photography and contemporary art. Until recently, Sawada’s pictures have focused exclusively on her self and her assumed identities, employing an uncanny ability to alter her persona, producing simple, fresh images that raise questions about cultural identity, gender performativity, the perception of the self and authorship in photography. And like ID400, many of her series have relied on the repetition of images in grids, a format appropriate to work highly consistent in form but elastic in detail.
Her most recent work, produced during a residency with The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is both a startling departure from the past and an innovative use of her iconic style honed over the past decade. In 2012 she was invited by the museum to work with a local business and produce a new body of work based on the unique materials, history and processes associated with the host institution, which in this case, was Heinz, a brand synonymous with the city’s legacy. Sawada, who is acclaimed for her humorous and extensive self-portraits, collaborated with Heinz to investigate branding as a form of portraiture. The result is a tangle between an artist who has, up to this point, only used images of her self in a multitude of guises and a condiment company easily recognized on store shelves the world over.
Sign/KETCHUP & Sign/MUSTARD are large grids of 56 images of the Heinz condiment bottles. At a distance the plastic, inverted bottle featuring the iconic Heinz label looks a bit like a head, a direct reference to Sawada’s previous I.D.-style self-portraits. Upon closer inspection one realizes that “Tomato Ketchup” or “Mustard” has been translated into 56 languages from the countries around the globe where Heinz is sold. The artist has altered the company’s linguistic face in a manner that parallels her previous work, which relied on morphing her own face into a striking range of identities based on age, ethnicity and personality. But rather than over-the-the counter cosmetics and costume changes, she dresses her Heinz bottles with text; she accumulated the text using Google image search, translation websites, Wikipedia, and her artist page on Facebook where she enlisted international friends and fans in the task. And even with the linguistic change, what remains is the brand’s utter recognizability. In Tomoko Sawada’s photographs the languages themselves can be hard to identify but the corporate identity is impossible to shake. She exposes our culture’s overwhelming ability to identify with the face of an international brand, even as we may struggle to recognize a neighboring culture and its language.
Tomoko Sawada was born in 1977 in Kobe, Japan and studied at the Seian University of Art and Design. She has been a recipient of the Grand Prize at the Canon New Cosmos of Photography, the ICP Infinity Hyogo Arts Award and the prestigious Kimura Ihei Memorial Photography Award. Her work is held by internationally renowned collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the International Center of Photography, New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Essl Collection, Klosternerberg, Austria, the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University, Cambridge, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles and the Brooklyn Museum. Monographs of Tomoko Sawada’s work include: ID400, Seigensha Art Publishing, 2004; School Days, Seigensha Art Publishing, 2006; Masquerade, Akaaka Art Publishing, 2006.
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Join us at the opening of Tomoko Sawada's latest works SIGN and SKIN at ROSEGALLERY. The gallery has arranged a meeting with the artist for PAC/LA members. September 26, 6-8 PM.
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Throughout the year, PAC/LA offers:
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Kansas City's preeminent art museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum, has recently opened an exhibition entitled ABOUT FACE focusing on contemporary photographic portraiture. We are proud to announce that ROSEGALLERY artists Ken Kitano, Jocelyn Lee, Laura McPhee, Lise Sarfati, and Tomoko Sawada are included in this exhibition. Read on for their press release.
This exhibition will explore the breadth and global diversity of contemporary photographic portraiture since 2000, highlighting recent acquisitions to the museum's permanent collection.
About Face will include works by twenty-nine artists from the United States, England, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Iran and South Africa. Though each of these photographers approaches portrait-making differently, certain thematic threads resonate throughout the show, including questions of racial, cultural, ethnic, class and gender identity; the relationship between individuals and typologies; the way photographic processes themselves inform meaning; the relevance of historical precedents to contemporary practice; and the impact of media stereotypes on self-presentation. Considered collectively, the works in About Face offer a provocative and engaging forum for considering the question: how do we define portraiture today?
For this exhibition, co-curators Jane L. Aspinwall and April M. Watson at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art are partnering with FlakPhoto.com creator Andy Adams to create a collaborative exhibition project focusing on contemporary portraiture.
The project will present two distinct, simultaneous exhibitions: About Face, our in-gallery exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins, and Making Pictures of People, a digital exhibition presented online for web-based audiences worldwide. Visitors will be able to access the Flak Photo exhibition via touch screens in the gallery and on mobile devices outside the museum.
The goal of our collaboration is twofold: to celebrate the complementary experiences of engaging with photographs as objects and as images, and to connect museum visitors in Kansas City with an international community deeply engaged in thinking about portraiture and contemporary photographic practice.
ABOUT FACE is on view at the Nelson Atkins Museum from August 9, 2013 - January 19, 2014. Click here to be explore to their site.
Image titles: Jocelyn Lee, Untitled (Julia and Greenery), 2005 and Lise Sarfati, Emily, 2850 Sunset Boulevard, 2010
Tomoko Sawada "SKIN"
January 12 - February 24, 2013
venue: MEM map open hours：12:00-20:00 closed on Mondays tel. 03-6459-3205
Tomoko Sawada’s new series SKIN was first introduced in a group show at GD4PhotoArt in Bologna, Italy last year. A series of 12 photographs shows the lower half of the bodies of Tabio employees. Founded in the 1960s, Tabio is one of the oldest socks and stockings labels in Japan, where the brand’s designs influenced female fashion trends of the post-war era. During this period of high economic growth, pantyhose and other undergarments were introduced and marketed within Japanese culture. Stockings and pantyhose have since then become emblematic necessities, especially among female office workers. Wearing pantyhose in an office environment is regarded as a formal gesture in Japan. There are companies that even include stockings in their dress codes for female employees.
Sawada conducted research on Tabio, and shot a group of female workers wearing their stockings. Sawada regards stockings as “armor” for Japanese OL (Office Ladies), as suits may analogously be considered for men. It is Sawada’s opinion that women were obliged to take offensive measures and clad themselves in armor, as they became an important labor force in society during the 1960s.
Tomoko Sawada uses photography to explore the relationship between one’s inner life and outer image. Her works borrow compositional devices from familiar photographic formats such as the school portrait or wedding and fashion photography, restaging them in a satirical mode so as to lay bare their various stereotypes and assumptions. Predominantly casting herself in the role of the model, Sawada has built an extraordinary cast of characters that present a humorous and incisive portrait of Japanese society. Her works have been presented internationally and are in major public collections including Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, International Center of Photography, New York and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Tomoko Sawada lives and works in New York City and Kobe, Japan.
Text and image courtesy of MEM.
Factory Direct: Pittsburgh showcases the artwork of 14 established contemporary artists invited to conduct artist residencies in Pittsburgh-based factories. Factory Direct: Pittsburgh artists worked closely with the management teams and factory workers within their host facilities to plan and execute a new work of art based on the factory’s history, technologies, materials, and/or processes. Factory Direct: Pittsburgh artists are Chakaia Booker, Dee Briggs, Thorsten Brinkmann, Jeanette Doyle, Todd Eberle, Fabrizio Gerbino, Ann Hamilton, William Earl Kofmehl, Ryan McGinness, Mark Neville, Sarah Oppenheimer, Edgar Orlaineta, ORLAN, and Tomoko Sawada. Dee Briggs, Fabrizio Gerbino, and William Kofmehl are working local artists. Participating factories include ALCOA, Ansaldo STS USA (formerly Union Switch and Signal), Bayer, Body Media, Calgon Carbon Corporation, Construction Junction, Forms and Surfaces, Heinz, PPG Industries, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, and TAKTL. Pittsburgh has an incredibly rich history in the realm of industry and was the dominant power in steel, bronze, tin, coal, aluminum, food and glass production from the late 19th-century through to the mid-20th-century. From Andrew Carnegie’s Carnegie Steel Company to H. J. Heinz’s world-famous ketchup, Pittsburgh was the home-base for many of the major industrial giants of America. Thanks to the region’s innovation and industry, Pittsburgh was one of the wealthiest cities in the world at the beginning of the 20th-century, and many leading cultural institutions and civic organizations, including The Warhol, continue to be the beneficiaries of the trusts and foundations that Pittsburgh’s industrialists left behind. In Factory Direct: Pittsburgh, artists have been given the unique opportunity to examine the legacy of these industrial giants and work in the many factories that still call Pittsburgh home. In this second decade of the 21st-century, modern-day Pittsburgh’s industry ranges from major robotics institutes and health care systems to cutting-edge technology facilities and green building initiatives. Also present are a number of small to medium-sized family-owned businesses with light manufacturing facilities. The exhibition also celebrates the region’s work force and their commitment to industry and innovation. Pittsburgh’s strong work ethic has been the foundation for the many industrial milestones achieved here, and it continues to fuel the city’s drive forward in new technologies and innovations.
The Factory Direct exhibition idea first arose in Troy, New York when artist Michael Oatman was looking for a novel way to bring contemporary artists to that historic city in an effort to examine its own industrial past. After this first successful foray, the next Factory Direct project took place in New Haven, Connecticut in 2005 at the nonprofit Art Space on a larger scale. Now, The Warhol builds on this tradition and expands the Factory Direct enterprise into a large-scale exhibition to help bring the fields of art and industry even closer. Participating artists are working in Pittsburgh at their host factory sites for a period ranging from two weeks to two months.
The following participating artists and factory partnerships are:
Chakaia Booker (USA) / Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University Dee Briggs (USA) / TAKTL Thorsten Brinkmann (Germany) / Construction Junction Jeanette Doyle (Ireland) / Ansaldo STS USA Fabrizio Gerbino(Italy) / Calgon Carbon Corporation Ann Hamilton (USA) / Bayer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette William Earl Kofmehl III (USA) / Boyd & Blair: Potato Vodka Ryan McGinness (USA) / Forms+Surfaces Mark Neville (Scotland) Sarah Oppenheimer / PPG Industries Edgar Orlaineta (Mexico) / Alcoa Inc. ORLAN (France) / BodyMedia Tomoko Sawada (Japan) / Heinz Todd Eberle (USA) will photograph all companies, artists and factory workers.
The exhibition will be on view at Guardian Self-Storage, 2839 Liberty Avenue (at 29th street and Liberty Avenue), Strip District. The exhibition is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission donations are welcome. The exhibition can be accessed via the entrance marked Storage. Visitor Services personnel will be on hand to offer assistance.
This exhibition is curated by The Warhol’s Director, Eric C. Shiner. Assistant curator Natalie Settles Curatorial assistant Jen Melvin.
Text and image courtesy of The Warhol
Pier 24 Photography presents About Face, an exhibition focusing on the tradition of portrait-based photography. On view are nearly one thousand photographs drawn primarily from the Pilara Foundation's permanent collection. Revelations - the Diane Arbus retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - inspired the purchase of the Foundation's first photograph, a portrait from her challenging and emotive Untitled series. The emotional intensity characterizing this photograph has informed subsequent acquisitions for the collection.
About Face encompasses wide-ranging approaches to portraiture from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day. The typology becomes a vehicle for chronicling individuals of a particular region and time in August Sander's Face of Our Time and Richard Avedon's The Family. Jim Goldberg's Rich and Poor and Larry Sultan's SF Society consider the socio-economic divide in San Francisco. Through a series of 66 self-portraits by Lee Friedlander from the past 50 years, one encounters many of the themes that have come to characterize his practice. Self-examination is also the focal point in selected works by Cindy Sherman, Gillian Wearing, Yasumasa Morimura, and Tomoko Sawada, in which the artists alter their appearances to challenge traditional notions of identity.
The unique large-scale prints by Richard Learoyd, as well as Hiroshi Sugimoto's series of Henry the VIII and his six wives reconsider the long history of portraiture in painting. Hans Peter Feldman's 100 Years consists of 101 portraits of people born from 1900 to 2000, tracing the span of a human life within which viewers can position themselves.
The exhibition also examines utilitarian modes of photography. On display are over 300 American mugshots from the early twentieth century, as well as a selection of hand-painted family portraits from Brazil known as Retratos Pintados.
With the exponential growth of image-making, portraiture remains the most popular photographic genre. The exhibited works in About Face provide a context within which to consider the unique dynamic between the subject, photographer and viewer.
Image and text courtesy of Pier 24 Photography
"The only materials I have used in my works is my self-portrait and when I started considering how and why this style and theme had come out, I set out to create this series School Days. Looking back to my school days, it was vital how much I could express my own personality in a group photo among the girls who were wearing the same uniforms with similar hairstyles. I suppose that spending six years only with girls has had a great effect on me." TOMOKO SAWADA
August Tip Number 2: Hot temperatures call for cool events in air conditioned spots — like Japanese artist Tomoko Sawada's photography show at the Rose Gallery at Bergamot Station. Click here to read all of the Los Angeles Times' thoughts on how to spend your August in Los Angeles.
TOMOKO SAWADA: REFLECTION
9 July - 17 September, 2011
Mirrors 6, 2009
ROSEGALLERY is pleased to present REFLECTION our second exhibition of photographs by renowned Japanese artist, Tomoko Sawada.
Since her breakthrough series, ID400, which debuted in 1999, Tomoko Sawada’s work has remained at the cutting edge of contemporary art and conceptual photography. Sawada’s pictures focus exclusively on her self and her assumed identities; her signature being the uncanny ability to alter her persona time and time again and to produce simple but fresh images that raise questions about cultural identity, gender performativity, the perception of the “self” versus the “other” and authorship in photography.
Unlike artists Cindy Sherman, Nikki S. Lee and Yasumasa Morimura, with whom she has been compared, Sawada rarely recedes into a theatrical environment or complicates her imagery with melodrama or stagecraft. Instead she relies on variations of superficial details in costume, makeup and hair, posture and facial expression, to examine the tension between a public image on the one hand and what we believe is our individual or core inner self on the other. As the artist herself states, “I don’t become someone nor do my pictures have a referent outside of myself.”
In her latest series, Mirrors, Sawada once again tackles the issue of identity by questioning the boundary between one’s own appearance and the self-image reflected in a mirror. The dual images in each photograph are presented like twins and while they bear a striking resemblance to one another, a closer inspection reveals how different they truly are. In her series Decoration, which will also be on view, Sawada transforms herself utilizing a form of contemporary street fashion, which is highly popular in her native country of Japan. With all of the accoutrements characteristic of the Goth Lolita movement, the artist highlights the use of clothing and accessories to create a personal identity and at the same time illustrates the ubiquity and anonymity ultimately engendered by this manner of self expression. Together, the images from Decoration and Mirrors question the extent to which identity is actually an expression of an authentic self and not simply the dramatic effect of how we present, perform and continually reinvent ourselves.
Tomoko Sawada was born in 1977 in Kobe, Japan and studied at the Seian University of Art and Design. She has been the recipient of the Grand Prize at the Canon New Cosmos of Photography, the ICP Infinity Hyogo Arts Award and the prestigious Kimura Ihei Memorial Photography Award. Her work is held by internationally renowned collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the International Center of Photography, New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Essl Collection, Klosternerberg, Austria, the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University, Cambridge, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles and the Brooklyn Museum.
Monographs of Tomoko Sawada’s work include: ID400, Seigensha Art Publishing, 2004; School Days, Seigensha Art Publishing, 2006; Masquerade, Akaaka Art Publishing, 2006.
For more information please contact Shaun McCracken at firstname.lastname@example.org