Photography

Kon, Michiko (1955)

Kon Michiko held her first solo exhibition in 1985 after having studied at the Tokyo Photographic College and having turned to photography when she began making collages in the late 1970s. The Japanese photographer assembles objects and biological elements such as food, plants and insects to create a tension between the animate and the inanimate, reality and the imagination: ‘There are sea and mountains in the town where I have been living since my birth. We can get fresh fish and vegetables there. When I look at them or make food from them, more than having an awareness that they are foodstuffs, I feel the delicacy and beauty of their forms, the eroticism of raw things, as well as their transience. I combine those foodstuffs with my favorite antiques, clothes, and shoes and other things’. What seem to be at first glance, mundane objects, reveal themselves as disturbing creations such as cabbages resembling disarticulated bodies, a fish turned into a hybrid bird or a shoe made of salmon skin. By doing so, Kon Michiko evokes Edward Weston’s classicism alongside Arcimboldo’s fruit figures as well as 17th century memento mori, reflecting on life, death and time. Sensual and decaying at the same time, her work resonates with the ephemerality of nature.
 

Michiko Kon, Cabbages and Pantyhose, 1985
Michiko Kon, Cabbages and Pantyhose, 1985
Michiko Kon, Quail and Grapes, 1992
Michiko Kon, Quail and Grapes, 1992
Michiko Kon, Cuttlefish and Sneaker, 1989
Michiko Kon, Cuttlefish and Sneaker, 1989
Michiko Kon, Two Goldfish, Fish Eggs and Toothbrush, 1985
Michiko Kon, Two Goldfish, Fish Eggs and Toothbrush, 1985
Michiko Kon, Gizzard Shad and Brassiere
Michiko Kon, Gizzard Shad and Brassiere
Michiko Kon, Chicken Legs and Tuxedo, 1996
Michiko Kon, Chicken Legs and Tuxedo, 1996
Michiko Kon, Mackerel and Chicken Legs, 1990
Michiko Kon, Mackerel and Chicken Legs, 1990
Michiko Kon, Main Foto Magazine 4, March 1997
Michiko Kon, Main Foto Magazine 4, March 1997
Michiko Kon, Sardines and Baby's Breath from the series Eat, 1984
Michiko Kon, Sardines and Baby's Breath from the series Eat, 1984
Michiko Kon, Self-portrait, 1994
Michiko Kon, Self-portrait, 1994
Michiko Kon, Still Lives, 1995
Michiko Kon, Still Lives, 1995
Michiko Kon, Sunflowers and Sardines, 1990
Michiko Kon, Sunflowers and Sardines, 1990
Michiko Kon, Yellowtails and Hat
Michiko Kon, Yellowtails and Hat
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