Tomoko Sawada – School Days



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MART curators Matthew Nevin & Ciara Scanlan, in conjunction with Japan World Exposition 1970 Commemorative Fund, are delighted to present the exhibition School Days by famed Japanese Artist Tomoko Sawada.

Preview: Thursday January 12th 2017 @ 6pm

Location: The MART Gallery, 190A Rathmines Rd, Lwr, Dublin 6.

Runs to: Feb 24th 2017

Open: Tues-Sat: 1-6pm 

In Conversation: Tomoko Sawada – An interview with the Artist & Curators.

Photo Gallery: MART on Facebook.

TOMOKO SAWADA (b. 1977 Kobe, Japan) uses photography to explore the relationship between one’s inner life and outer image. Sawada’s works borrow compositional devices from familiar photographic formats such as the school portrait, weddings, and fashion photography, restaging them in a satirical mode to lay bare their various stereotypes and assumptions. Contemporary portraiture can communicate various attitudes towards identity, status, individualism, time, place, culture and other connected ideas of the self. Since the late ‘90s the artist has used her performative self-portrait as a means of opening up discussion or as an enlightening tool for personal discovery, evoking the essence of ‘real’ people within a controlled environment. Sawada’s work has a sense of familiarity, comforting but also unsettling in its realism and closeness. The digital manipulation of her work feels real and her characters, believable. All of these elements culminate in a photographic document of Japanese society and the individuals that encapsulate it.

Sawada’s filmwork ‘MASK’ {2006}, a performance to camera, is projected in large format demonstrating the artist’s ability to create striking transformations of her own identity. Her own facial integrity reconstructs through 60 altering faces, as she peels off each new personality one after another. Sawada explores the relationship between one’s inner life and outer perception from society, experimenting and highlighting the artist’s skill as a costume, make up, technical and theatrical artistry of identity manufacturing. The work acts as an exploration of social, cultural and personal assessment in a contemporary society that pushes female characteristic falsehood and stereotypes on a global interconnected society.

Courtesy of MEM, Tokyo, Sawada presents her 2004 work ‘School Days’, through a series of classically framed photographs depicting several large group class portraits. Sawada impersonates hundreds of students in the series along with the typical teacher either side of each group. Wearing identical school uniforms Sawada successfully creates a large volume of individual characters by altering each person’s attire, accessories, makeup, stance and facial expression slightly, creating a series of prevailing students. The series references a tradition of bi yearly photographs taken seasonally in school from Kindergarten right up to High School graduation in Japan. Sawada set out to homogenize both her education and teenage personalities, showcasing elements of times in her own and fellow students lives of taking a risk of breaking strict school regulations and attempting to become someone different from her own self.

Also on view is selection of Sawada’s 2001 work ‘OMIAI♡’. In this photography series Sawada transformed her own personality, character and body through the aid of costumes, makeup and wigs to explore the traditional Japanese custom of ‘OMIAI’: a tradition in which individuals are introduced to each other through staged, professional photographs for the possibility of marriage, pending approval of their respective families. Either partner attempting to analyse who she/he is. Sawada intentionally both mimics and represents several stereotypical female identities, pushing the viewer to see not just a figure, but framing these new identities that sit between fantasy and reality.

Sawada 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.

Exhibitions {Selection}: MEM / Tokyo, Pace/MacGill / New York, Rose Gallery / LA, Kulturhuset / Stockholm, Colette / Paris, Fundacio Joan Miro / Barcelona, MAK / Vienna, Gallerie P / Brussels, Culturgest / Lisbon, Musee de ‘LElyssee / Lausanne, Museum of Contemporary Photography / Chicago, Kawaskaki City Museum, Museum of Modern Art New York, IMMA / Dublin, The Getty Museum / LA.

Permanent Collections {Selection}:  The National Museum of Modern Art / Kyoto, The Getty Museum / LA, Maison Europeenne de la Photographie / Paris, The Museum of Modern Art / New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art / USA, MAK / Wien Austria, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art / USA. Hyogo prefectural Museum of Art / Japan, National Gallery of Art / USA, SAMMLUNG VERBUND / Austria.

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Crumlin Gallery & Studios




65 Crumlin Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12


The 11 studios of the MART's Crumlin Gallery & Studios are based in Lower Crumlin road, nearby to the scenic Grand Canal. Featuring large spacious rooms with tall windows and high ceilings, these bright, airy spaces make an ideal working environment. 

Location

Across the canal is Dolphin’s barn, and this studio is also close to a number of residential areas: Rialto, Crumlin, Kimmage and Harold’s Cross. Only a short bus or Luas ride from the city centre. This building is home to a range of visual artists and creative professionals and is an ideal space for working in a calm, peaceful atmosphere.

Transport

The Crumlin studios are situated on bus routes 17, 27, 56a, 77a, 151. Ten minutes walk from Suir Road Luas Stop.

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 Our Studio Members

The Dublin Inqurier |  Cormac Dillon | Horhay Ruiz | Merce Canadell | Vijaya Bateson | Alice Brady | Caroline Power | Joe Lynch | Paola Invernizzi | Niamh Hannaford | Aoife Caffrey | Collette Flores | Vanessa Power | Annie Gahan | Leonie Connellan | Hugh Travers

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Leonie Connellan

Leonie Connellan is a print-based artist originally from Melbourne, Australia, now living in Dublin. Her work explores the relationship between science and storytelling, with the ultimate goal of creating a sense of scientific understanding, wonder and curiosity about the structure of the universe and our place in it. crumpart.net


Collette Flores

I am based in Dublin and create Bespoke lampshades from vintage, antique and newly designed digitally printed fabrics. xochique.com


Niamh Hannaford

Niamh was born in 1987. She was 3.16 kg, 54 cm. She had a small tuft of curls on top of her head, which her mother dressed in a bow. In 2017 she weighs 70 kg and is 174 cm. Her hair is shoulder length and she still wears a bow. She uses her work to explore her inner fears with a playful curiosity. Still, she is constantly terrified. niamhhannaford.com


Joe Lynch

I'm Joe, Dublin based illustrator/painter. I graduated from animation (2011) and illustration (2014) in BCFE. Previously I worked as a graphic designer, fashion design intern and a tattoo apprentice so my work takes extensive influence from these past ventures. I've taken part in two collaborative exhibitions to date which were held in Ballyfermot library and Farmleigh, the goal of this new venture is to exhibit more and have fun doing it. Instagram.


Alice Brady

Alice is a passionate embroiderer whose love of place and detail is central to her work. She uses her extensive knowledge of embroidery and textile techniques to create contemporary wall art. Alice is interested in the environments around us – more specifically, the aspects that get overlooked or taken for granted. Her embroideries capture these details in order to create pieces which accurately convey the atmosphere of a particular place. Currently she is working on a series of pieces inspired by Dublin, the place she knows better than any other. The county of Dublin is a perfect example of how the landscape transforms from rural to urban, and it is this dialogue which is celebrated in Alice’s work. Through a process of drawing, photographing and editing, Alice selects the colours, textures and motifs that define a place. Each location that Alice works from inspires the techniques and materials she uses. An array of traditional hand embroidery techniques are presented in a contemporary context. Alice graduated from the Royal School of Needlework in 2017 with a BA in Hand Embroidery. She has worked on a number of high profile projects such as the Nicholas Oakwell for GREAT Britain Campaign and the HBO Game of Thrones Hardhome Embroidery. In 2016, her work was displayed in the Craft Study Centre in Farnham as part of a work in progress show running alongside the ‘Make It OK?’ exhibition. bealicetextiles.wixsite.com/be-alice