“I simply photograph what I want.” The magnificently coloured photographs that result from Mika Ninagawa consistently applying this approach go beyond visual brilliance, vividly communicating the photographer’s own intensity to the viewer. Art critic Midori Matsui coined the phrase “earthly flowers, heavenly colours” to express the attraction of photographs that only Mika Ninagawa can produce. It has been adopted here as the exhibition’s subtitle.
Ever since the first self-portraits that she took as an art student, Ninagawa has sensitively captured the decisive moments that capture the essence of constantly changing subjects. Her wide-reaching activities are well known, crossing over genres to work in fields that include fashion, music, and advertising, and last year, directing the film adaptation of the popular manga,
This exhibition is a retrospective, presenting Ninagawa’s trademark themes—including flowers, which capture the unreal in real scenes, travels, in which she stretches her abilities as a photographer, and portraits, where she creates images for actresses and other celebrities—accompanied by works from the beginning of her career and her latest series, Noir. Bringing together over five hundred of her photographs, it constitutes an overview of photographer Mika Ninagawa’s past, present, and future.