ArtistNISHIYAMA Minako
Material/ Techniquedigital print on paper
Size/ DurationH76.5 × W57.5cm
Copyright Notice© NISHIYAMA Minako
Year of acquisition/ donation2005
DescriptionBorn in Hyogo, Japan in 1965. Lives and works there.

Nishiyama Minako made three-dimensional works using paper pulp in the late of 1980s. Afterwards, Nishiyama received great attention in her works that focus on characteristics of Japanese culture, ‘kawaii’ (cute) and ‘pinku’ (pink). She made artworks under the theme of ‘decoration,’ while at the same time her interest in easily destructible, shortlined materials such as paper and papier-mache produced artworks using sugar and egg white. In recent years she has begun to incorporate a variety of materials as she seeks to create more substantial works while continuing to use a lot of the color pink. She has also begun creating three-dimensional and two-dimensional pieces that focus on the reflection of light, although a move towards spatial/architectural pieces that are applied directly to walls is also discernable.

"Sugar Crown" features a crown motif shaped out delicate, fragile sugar. Similar works include those featuring ring and high heel motifs. These are all icons that often feature in girlish culture, especially girls’ manga, while the choice of a material that is guaranteed to loose its shape over time and motifs such as crowns could also be interpreted as a critique of femininity and the structures that have given rise to it. Meanwhile, "Untitled (PW-970508)" and the other three photographs record the collapse of "Sugar Crown" over time. The idea for "The PINKÚ House", which could be described as a typical example of Nishiyama’s early work, came from ‘Rica-chan House,’ a toy targeted at young girls in Japan. Icons such as the curtains with their prominent hearts, roses, ribbons and folds and the Western-style furniture are depicted in strong colors such as red and pink and enlarged to the same size as an actual house and actual furniture. The result cuts across reality and dreams and real and imaginary images, confronting the audience with the reality of the kind of world yearned after by the masses.