Yasumasa Morimura

Sagacho Exhibit Space

Since 1985 Yasumasa Morimura has been photographing himself as the central character of various Western paintings. Although the satirical component of these works is readily apparent, and much of their impact lies in their sexual and racial ambiguities, they can perhaps best be understood as critiques of Japanese culture and its relation to the West, explored through the self-portrait format.

Morimura rightly sees the canon of Western art history as an important part of the visual culture of contemporary Japan. On several occasions he has stated that Western art and classic Japanese art are equally removed from Japanese life today, yet he remains suspicious of those who would seek to establish a contemporary “Japanese” art. This artist has expressed anger at what he sees as the unthinking superficiality of Japanese society, which, on the one hand, simply cannibalizes the visual arts for

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