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“Body Politics: What Defines the Body?”


18:30-20:00 Saturday, June 30th, 2018






Kana Kawanishi


Jeong Eun Kim (IANN)

Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS)

Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Korea)


The Third Gallery Aya, Rin Art Association

The Finnish Institute, The Embassy of Finland in Tokyo


Ishiuchi Miyako, Mari Katayama, Hideo Anze

Maija Tammi, Ahn Jun, Jinhee Kim, Ok Hyun Ahn




 2-7-5-5F, Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031

TEL +81 3 5843 9128



Saturday, June 30th, 2018—Friday, August 24th, 2018

Tuesdays through Fridays, 13:00—20:00

Saturdays, 12:00—19:00

(closed on Sundays, Mondays, and National Holidays)

* Closed during August 14th to 18th for summer vacation

*August 11th: closed due to National Holiday ("Mountain Day")


“Body Politics: What Defines the Body?”

17:00-18:30, Saturday, June 30th, 2018

Guest Speaker: Mika Kobayashi (Photo Researcher / Guest Researcher, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)

Ahn Jun, Jinhee Kim, Ok Hyun Ahn

* No reservation needed | admission free | 15 seats available

* Talk event will be held basically in Japanese language ( Japanese/Korean consecutive interpretation)

Mother's #38
2000-2005, chromogenic print, 285×190mm
©Ishiuchi Miyako, courtesy The Third Gallery Aya

KANA KAWANISHI PHOTOGRAPHY is pleased to present Body Politics: What Defines the Body?, a group exhibition of seven artists who feature the “body” as their motifs of expressions. The exhibition is made possible with the support of the Grant Program for International Organizations Presenting Korean Artists Exhibitions, hosted by the korea Arts Management Service, and with the cooperation of the Korean Publisher/Art Office, IANN.

The body, which we may feel as something closest to ourselves, is in fact a collective of obscure recognition and is something very vague. Kiyokazu Washida (Philosopher, Principle & President of Kyoto City University of Arts, Director of Sendai Mediatheque), referred to philosopher Nietzsche in his publication Chiguhagu na karada (The Disjointed Body) (Chikuma bunko, 2015), and commented “perhaps the most farthest existence to oneself is his/her own body.”

Although someone shows you a gastroscopy or an X-ray photograph and tells it is your body, it is quite difficult to actually feel so. When it comes to your own body, sensory information becomes very scarce. (...) No one can ever directly see inside his/her own body, or even their back, or the back of one’s head. Moreover, you can never see your own face throughout your life, whilst it is in that face that all your uncontrolled emotions appear. How vulnerable could that be. (...)

If only a partial is what I could directly see or touch of my own body, then it would mean, my body can only appear as a whole when I imagine how it would look from a distance. In other words, my body is nothing but my own imagination— i.e., an “image.” Whether being touched or seen, the body can be experienced only partially. Thus, the body can only be recognized as a whole when the disjointed physical perceptions are combined in imagination as a patchwork, and when it forms an “imaginary body.” (...)


Humans have invented various methods to reinforce such vulnerability of the body as an “image.” That is to say, various ways of enforcing the outlines of our existences, and to calm down the anxiety of our fragility. We try to highlight the invisible outlines of our bodies by activating our cutaneous sensories. For example, we’d soak ourselves into hot water, or take cold showers, or bath in the sun, or sweat by playing sports. Or, we have our bodies in contact with other bodies. (...)


The reason why we feel these practices relaxing is because by taking a bath or a shower, the temperature difference of the hot/cold water and the skin would stimulate the skin surface, and awaken the cutaneous senses. The existence of our normally invisible backs or behind our thighs sharply become highlighted at the surface. Although they remain visually invisible, the cutaneous senses clearly highlight the outlines of the body. *1


This exhibition will present photographic works of seven artists from three countries—Finland, Korea, and Japan—, and will contemplate the elements that may be defining our bodies today in the contemporary world. If our bodies can be only experienced as an image as a whole, collecting the photographic works that feature the human body may stimulate and highlight the cutaneous senses of our society.

*1 Kiyokazu Washida, Chiguhagu na karada (The Disjointed Body), Chikuma bunko, 2015, pp12-18

Mother's #40

Mother's #40

2000-2005, chromogenic print, 190×285mm ©Ishiuchi Miyako, courtesy The Third Gallery Aya

Mother's #44

Mother's #44

2000-2005, chromogenic print, 285×190mm ©Ishiuchi Miyako, courtesy The Third Gallery Aya

Ishiuchi Miyako was born in Kiryu, Gunma, in 1947.

Ishiuchi received The 4th Kimura Ihei Award in 1979, and exhibited at the 51st Venice Biennale Japan Pavilion in 2005. She received the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2013, and The Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in 2014. Retrospective exhibitions have been presented at major art museums around the world, including Grain and Image (Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan, 2017-2018), Postwar Shadows (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2015), and many others.

In this exhibition, Ishiuchi will be presenting her Mother’s series, a body of work in which she photographed her late mother’s body and her belongings. Mother’s was published in 2002 as a monograph, and descended her interest towards the human body as seen in the series in which she photographed women born the same year as herself, and 1960 to the skin where she photographed the nude of the globally renowned dancer, Kazuo Ohno. In Mother’s, the clothes and accessories appear almost as an extension of the previous owner’s skin, and viewers may sense not only the relationship and perception of a mother and child, but also a female observing another female, and many other various perspectives woven in as layers.



2016, digital C print (lambda print), 750×750mm ©Mari Katayama, courtesy Rin Art Association

hello, my new legs! #1

hello, my new legs! #1

2011, digital C print (lambda print), 165.5×246mm ©Mari Katayama, courtesy Rin Art Association

Mari Katayama was born in Saitama in 1987, and was raised in Gunma, Japan.

Katayama completed B.A. at Gunma Prefectural Women's University in 2010, and  M.F.A. at Tokyo University of the Arts, Graduate School of Fine Arts, Department of Intermedia Art in 2012. Her major solo exhibitions include On the Way Home (The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, Japan, 2017), and 19872017 (Gallery Gateaux Festa Harada, Gunma, Japan, 2017). Group exhibitions include Photographs of Innocence and of Experience: Contemporary Japanese Photography vol. 14 (Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Japan, 2017-2018), Roppongi Crossing 2016: My Body, Your Voice (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 2016), and L'Expérience Japonaise (La Criée, Théâtre National de Marseille, France, 2013).

Katayama’s works, which are self-portraits of herself with her artificial legs in which she have had since the age of nine, powerfully demolish the unconscious boundaries of what we believe is “normal” and “unique.” In this exhibition, one of her representative works, shell will be exhibited with a new original artist handmade frame that densely reflects her world, as well as one of her earliest works, in my room #1, which became the foundation of her career.

One of Them Is a Human #1

2016, archival pigment print, 600×650mm

© Maija Tammi, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

Maija Tammi was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1985.

Tammi completed a practice-based Ph.D. at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki in 2017. Her solo exhibition White Rabbit Fever was presented at KANA KAWANISHI PHOTOGRAPHY (Tokyo) in 2017, after it had showed at Gallery Lapinlahti (Helsinki), Matèria (Rome), and Photographic Centre Peri (Turku, Finland). Other major solo exhibitions include Hydra (Galleria Huuto, Jätkäsaari 2, Helsinki, 2017), Milky Way (VarikkoGalleria, Seinäjoki, Finland, 2015), and Leftover (Photographic Gallery Hippolyte, Helsinki, Finland). Group exhibitions include Rules, Ascriptions (KANA KAWANISHI PHOTOGRAPHY, Tokyo, 2017), Aether (Jarvis Dooney Gallery, Berlin, 2016), Space and Sex (Photographic Centre Peri, Turku, Finland, 2015), and many others.

In this exhibition, Tammi will present two images from One of Them Is a Human work, a work consisted of four portraits which among them only one is a human and the remaining three are androids. One of Them Is a Human #1 is a portrait of an android named Erica, which also triggered a huge debate when it was awarded the third prize and the John Kobal New Work Award at the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017, hosted by the National Portrait Gallery in London. The rules for the international competition said that the picture “must have been taken by the entrant from life and with a living sitter,” and by shortlisting and awarding the work, it consequently opened the crucial controversy whether our society would consider androids “alive” or not.

These portraits, which have overcome the The Uncanny Valley introduced by the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970, elicit the uncertainty of our bodies by unveiling the vagueness between ourselves and androids.

RED series

RED series

2013-2018, digital c print (frontier print), 256×177mm © Hideo Anze, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

RED series (installation view)

RED series (installation view)

2013-2018, digital c print (frontier print), 256×177mm © Hideo Anze, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY

Hideo Anze was born in Tokyo.

Anze’s major solo exhibitions include Forms of Invisible Existence (KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY, Tokyo, 2016), RED 2014 365 (SUNDAY, Tokyo, 2016). Group exhibitions include Rules, Ascriptions (KANA KAWANISHI PHOTOGRAPHY, Tokyo, 2017), transcripts/memories (KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY, Tokyo, 2015) and others. The artist’s first monograph RED 2014 365 was published from TRADEMARK PUBLISHING (Germany) in 2016. His works have been acquired as part of the Sanders Collection (The Netherlands).

In this exhibition, Anze will present the RED series, which is a serial of self portraits that depict a partial of his body and uploaded on Twitter on a daily basis. The abstract red flares attained by placing a finger on the camera lens of an iPhone are incapable for viewers to recognize the social roles, genders, ages, expressions or emotions of the person in the photograph, while seeing the data accompanying the digital image that has rapidly replaced film photography today, include locations, EXIF, date and time of the photograph, allowing viewers to precisely imagine details of the personal life of the photographer and model. The RED series enable us to visualize the new conditions our bodies we are now experiencing in this new era of digital photography.


2012, HDR Ultra Chrome Archival Pigment Print, Triptych (1524×1016mm each)

©Ahn Jun, courtesy IANN

Ahn Jun was born in Seoul, Korea in 1981.


Jun completed her B.A. at University of Southern California, Department of Art History in 2006, M.F.A at Parsons School of Design (New York), Photography Program in 2012, and Ph.D. at Hongik University Graduate School (Seoul), Photography Department in 2017. Her major solo exhibitions include On The Verge (Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle, 2018), UnveiledScape (Keumsan Gallery, Seoul, 2017), and Self-Portrait (Christophe Guye Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland, 2014). Group exhibitions include Asia Woman Artists (Jeonbuk Museum of Art, Korea, 2017), Ich (Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany, 2016), and Secret Garden (Seoul Museum, Seoul, 2016). Public collections include Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Korea).

In this exhibition, Jun will present works from her Self-Portrait series, which portray herself looking down from high-rises in the cities of Seoul, New York, and Hong Kong. The serial photographs taken with a high-speed shutter capture tense moments of herself almost jumping down from above, with its impressive composition evoking senses of sexual fetishism that create a surreal atmosphere. In her works, Jun queries that the actual landscape she sees in between the high-rises and the air could be a layer of imagination, and replaces the psychological boundaries between the photographic context and actual experiences with the photographic sensuous of the imaginary and the reality.

Beckon Discipline-002

2018, Embroidery on Digital Pigment Print, 320×250mm

© Jinhee Kim, courtesy IANN

Jinhee Kim was born in Busan, Korea in 1985.


She completed her B.A. at Chung-Ang University (Seoul), Department of Photography in 2008. Her major solo exhibitions include Love from Mary (Gallery Koo, Seoul, 2016), A Nameless Woman, She (Songeun Artcube, Seoul, 2014), and whisper(ing) (Trunk Gallery, Seoul and Place M, Tokyo, 2012). Group exhibitions include Seoul NewYork Photo Festival (PowerHouse Arena, New York, 2016), Lies of Lies (HUIS MET DE HOOFDEN, Amsterdam and Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, 2015), and IANN & ANMOK (Ryugaheon, Seoul, 2014). Her monograph whisper(ing) was published from IANNBOOKS (Korea) in 2010. Public collections include Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts (Yamanashi, Japan).

Kim applies embroidery on the photographs taken by herself. The practice of applying text or abstract pattern embroidery on the landscape and portrait photographs, or old postcards she had collected, is for her also a way of curing emotions and relationships in which could be easily yet unconsciously hurt within the society. Her latest work Beckon Discipline, presented in this exhibition, is inspired from the conscious movements of her own hand of applying embroidery. Jinhee Kim explains that “the hand connotes personal memories, and is also a non-linguistic way of communicating.” It is not only the verbal linguistic communications, but also the improvisational unconscious performances of the hand that attracts the artist. More specifically, Kim is interested in finding and reinterpreting the “femininity” recognized in the general society found in magazines and newspapers and consumed as the image of a female.

Love Has No Name

Love Has No Name

2018, Single channel video, about 13min, © Ok Hyun Ahn, courtesy IANN

Love Has No Name

Love Has No Name

2018, Single channel video, about 13min, © Ok Hyun Ahn, courtesy IANN

Ok Hyun Ahn was born in Seoul, Korea in 1970.


Ok Hyun completed her M.F.A. at Hongik University Graduate School (Seoul) in 1998 and School of Visual Arts (New York) in 2003. Her major solo exhibitions include Love, Tears, Seduction (Lydmar Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden, 2015), The World From The Summit Of Mount Everest (SPACE 22, Seoul, 2014), Homo Sentimentalis (Kunstdoc Gallery, Seoul, 2007) and The Eye Or The Ear Enjoys Pleasures Through The Body (Gallery Jungmiso, Seoul, 2007). Group exhibitions include You Got Stuck in the Wall (Gallery Lux, Seoul, 2016), Seoul New Arirang-Like Thousand Miles of Rivers, Gazing at a Boundary From a Boundary (Buk Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, 2016) and Turbulent Transition (Le Maillon, Strasbourg, France, 2015). Her monograph The World From The Summit of Mount Everest was published from IANNBOOKS (Korea) in 2016.

Ok Hyun has been interested in how people in the contemporary world have been emotionally and consciously influenced by the mass media, and how those have been sensuously embedded into ourselves. Her works are often in the form of photographs and videos, which replicate the crevices in between the images of the mass produced “love” created by the media, and the “actual love” that occurs in reality. Love Has No Name (2018, single channel video, appx. 13 mins) is a work that demonstrates a dialogue between a female artist and a psychiatrist among the topic of physical desire and love. Through the dialog, Ok Hyun reveals the reality of the suppressed love and desire hidden behind the enchanted name of love, found in the discordance of the sound and image of the video, as well as the absurd mind and emotion of the casts that appear in the narrative of her work.

*       *     *

The seven artists each uniquely comprehend what our bodies—which could be only experienced as images—are, in their photographic works. As though the stimulated cutaneous senses highlight the outlines our bodies, we hope this exhibition would elicit new ways of conceiving the body in our current society.

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