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Thursday, January 21, 2010


Pictures by Mika Ninagawa

It is easy to notice my taste for Japanese pop art. And, as for photography, my eyes are maybe also turned on photographers with that so inimitable Japanese pop look (like Nagi Noda's work).

Mika Ninagawa is, overseas, probably more famous for her movie Sakuran (staring Anna Tsuchiya), adaptation of the eponym manga by Moyoko Anno, the story of a young woman Kiyoha that becomes an oiran (some kind of high standing prostitute, especially famous at the Edo period, and not to be confused with geisha).

But Mika Ninagawa is above all a photographer and one of the most remarkable of Japan, like her world through her pictures shows, and regarding the numerous exhibitions that were dedicated to her work and numerous awards she received (the 13th New Cosmos of Photography by Canon in 1996, Ohara Museum of Art Prize in 2006, …). She worked on photobooks of actors like Anna Tsuchiya (Kamikaze Girl, Sakuran), Hiroki Narimiya (Nana, Azumi) or Chiaki Kuriyama (Kill Bill vol.1, Battle Royale). She did advertising for Lumine (one of the most important shopping mall company with Marui) or Coca Cola. She publishes for fashion magazines like Japanese versions of Vogue and Elle, or Spoon

Her world is poetic and enchanted, the colors are bright and sour, young women look like mutineers. But her photography is not only about fashion, as Mika Ninagawa cultivates a special taste for flowers and goldfishes. Colette, the famous select shop of Paris, in 2007, at the occasion of the movie Sakuran, organized an exhibition introducing that talented Japanese lady photographer.

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