© MORIMURA Yasumasa

Geometry’s Flower 2

ArtistMORIMURA Yasumasa
Material/ Techniquegelatin silver print
Size/ DurationH13.3 × W9cm
Copyright Notice© MORIMURA Yasumasa
Year of acquisition/ donation2003
DescriptionBorn in Osaka, Japan in 1951. Lives and works there.

After graduating from Kyoto City University of Arts, Morimura Yasumasa worked as an assistant to photographer Ernest SATO at the university, which had a great impact on him. In 1985, he photographed himself in a recreation of Vincent VAN GOGH’s famous self-portrait. Since producing these works, Morimura has continued to use the technique of ‘becoming another’ as a form of expression aimed at delving into the multifariousness of the self. These include the “Daughters of Art History” series, depicting famous portraits in the history of art, the self-explanatory “Actresses” series, and the “Requiem” series, recreating important male figures in politics and war based on seminal news photographs from the twentieth century. In 2007 he was awarded the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts, and in 2014 served as Artistic Director for the Yokohama Triennale.

"Portrait (Van Gogh)" and "Portrait (Camille Roulin)" are the first in a series of self-portraits in which the artist disguises himself as characters in famous paintings from art history. Immediately prior to producing these two pieces, Morimura produced “Barco negro na mesa,” a series of photographs of imagined megalopolises transformed into a scale within his command. The influence of Stéphane MALLARMÉ and Man RAY can be seen in some of the motifs, including the checkered patterns and dice. Morimura refers to this series as his ‘starting point.’ "Barco negro na mesa + Five Water Towers" – an installation consisting of all 49 “Barco negro na mesa” photographs along with five three-dimensional pieces created in 2007 based on these photographs "(Water Tower)" and arranged on a black and white checkered floor – was shown at a collection exhibition at this museum. This not only highlighted the very passage of time from 1984 through to 2007 but also gave an insight into Morimura’s approach to the process of creation. A variation of this work, considered a daytime scene, also exists under the title “Barco negro at night.” Morimura’s work depicting Vladimir LENIN, "A Requiem: Humanity is sadly futile 1920.5.5 - 2007.3.2" is a part of his “Requiem” series, and are based upon a photograph of the founder of the Soviet Union giving a speech surrounded by the people. Morimura’s film, which was taken in Kamagasaki in Osaka, Japan feature himself disguised as Lenin and a group of well over a hundred day-workers and homeless as the crowd. Through the medium of his own physicality, Morimura’s work investigates the individual as the smallest social entity, the manner in which twentieth century history is defined, and many other issues affecting contemporary society.