W i n Va n E g m o n d
an international guide to visual arts & culture
maga z i ne
vol. 01 iss. 01 / Spring 2012
E RI A
TH LA Ho
Ch ok sc Lis
Pa t M
Ar lJ ti s ap t an .b y
nc S. e t h r ap pr r es hi c o u g by s io h Al ex ni an Ja s de m n rW . Ko W hit st e in er Va n Eg m TA on XI d D Di ER ss M ec Y Ex IN t i pl n g AR or Be L i T. ng an tw ds ee th Im e c n ag ap Sc th in by es e o ar p Ru : Re e y. bie a Si la Jo m nd ha en ns th en Jo e ha n Ex
. C Y. it y s hi :A Pr p. Ja in Di n c vi en Ad di ria ng an s Ba
COVER BY: ANDREW VAUGHAN
i n t e r v i e w
w i t h
Being a Female Artist in Patriarchal Japan by Cristo Mitov
Mitsuko Nagone would challenge your expectations and perspectives on Asian art. Her photographs carry a hidden yet not so obvious message and represent Nagoneâ€™s passion for detailed perfection. Mitsuko grew up in a small southern city in Japan. She moved to Tokyo and studied photography at the College of Tokyo Visual Arts. She then moved to New York City to continue her studies at LaGuardia Community College. Her photographs appeared in magazines published in NYC and Tokyo. Currently, Mitsuko resides in Japan, works as a freelance photographer, and contributes to Getty Images, La-vie Factory, and so on. She also graduated with a BA in Photography from Kyoto University of Art and Design. Photography remains her passion where she currently exhibits her personal work in area galleries. Mitsuko and I talked about the challenges of being a female artist in patriarchal Japan, East and West and nomadism. Oh, and she told me a traditional Japanese fairytale. 14
From the series: â€œi am more than my faceâ€?
“ Yes , I f ol l o w a n d l o v e t h e w es ter n a r t d ev el o p m en t , b u t I a l wa y s t r y n o t to b e l i m i te d to t h e Wes ter n . A s a n A s i a n w o m a n e d u c a te d i n a Wes ter n wa y , I t r y to p u t m y s el f i n a p o s i t i o n of d i v er s i t y . ”
Mitov Do you follow the art development in the West? Mitsuko Yes, I follow and love the western art development, but I always try not to be limited to the Western. As an Asian woman educated in a Western way, I try to put myself in a position of diversity. Mitov What is your top 3 artists right now Western from Japan? Mitsuko I like the works of René Magritte, Henri Matisse, and Wolfgang Tillmans! Mitov Your top 3 Japanese artists? Mitsuko Shoji Ueda, Genpei Akasegawa, Nam June Paik. Mitov What is your day job? Mitsuko My one and only job is freelance photographer. For example, I sometimes make a living by licensing my images to photo stock agencies. They have recently used my images in the movie trailer of “The Social Network”.
Mitsuko Yes, I follow and love the western art development, but I always try not to be limited to the Western. As an Asian woman educated in a Western way, I try to put myself in a position of diversity. Mitov When and how did you start making art? Mitsuko About 10 years ago, I took photography class in Tokyo, and it really showed me that I can make art. Mitov Why are you hiding your model’s faces? Mitsuko They are all self-portraits. The human face seems to emphasize “who” a person is and gives some insight about the individual. This may misinform the audience. I would like to challenge the viewer’s misconceptions and stereotypes. Mitov Why hair?
Mitov Do you plan your work or is it more spontaneous? Mitsuko Yes, I do plan especially what materials to use in the photographs, but sometimes I alter the plan during a photo shoot. Mitov How did you have to change yourself while moving form a smaller city to Tokyo and later to yet another metropolitan city, New York? How did your thinking change? Mitsuko I actually think the large cities I have lived in are very influential to my work, but I don’t know how or what exactly catches my attention and which part of mine was changed by life in cities. New York will always remain a very special and attractive place to me. Mitov What is the next city you want to embrace after Tokyo and New York? Somewhere in Europe maybe?
Mitov Is it challenging to be a female artist in a patriarchal Japan society?
Mitsuko To hide a face, the hair is just the closet thing from the face. In some of the photographs, I use my hair or a wig purposely to hide my face, but also in the others, I just face down then it comes over my face, or just turn back.
Mitsuko Not really. There are so many acknowledged female artists in Japan. Yayoi Kusama, Yoko Ono.
Mitov Do you think Japan artists get enough exposure to the Western art scene?
Mitov Do you find inspiration in Japan or in other cultures for your art?
Mitov Do you follow the art development in the West?
Mitsuko Unfortunately I am afraid not. I wish people in the world to know more about Japanese artist including ME!
Mitsuko Wherever I live, I get different kind of inspiration. Since I live in Japan now, I guess I am under the inspiration of Japan culture.
Mitsuko I am moving back to Tokyo soon, but also I hope to visit in Berlin and Munich soon. Germany is the country I would like to go to the most in Europe right now.
Mitov: Tell me a Japanese fairy tale.
Kaguyahime (The Bamboo Princess) Long, long ago, an old man who was a bamboo cutter found a shining bamboo in a mountain. He cut it, then there was a baby in the bamboo. He didn’t have a kid, so he took her home and he and his wife took care of her. She grew, became the most beautiful lady, and called her “Kaguyahime”, the bamboo princess. Many great men visited her to propose to her, but she always gave very difficult questions which they never can answer, then she rejected their proposals of marriage. Actually, she was the Moon Princess. Finally, she had to leave to the moon.
“SATISFYING IN THEIR DISPLAY OF INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY AND TECHNICAL MASTERY, EATON’S “CUBES FOR ALBERS AND LEWITT” ARE EQUALLY ENJOYED AS PURELY VISUAL INVENTIONS, PLAYFUL IN THEIR DISPLAY OF COLOR AND FORM.” THE NEW YORKER
OF V ANC OUV ER
L D N A S R E B L A OR F S E CUB
J E S S I C A E AT ON
M AY 5 T H - A U G U S T
museum of vancouver