Stills presents exhibition of work by Ishiuchi Miyako including images of Frida Kahlo's possessions

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Stills presents exhibition of work by Ishiuchi Miyako including images of Frida Kahlo's possessions
Ishiuchi Miyako, Frida Love and Pain #51 Courtesy of The Third Gallery Aya.©︎ Ishiuchi Miyako.

EDINBURGH.- To coincide with the Edinburgh Art Festival, Stills is presenting a solo exhibition by Ishiuchi Miyako an influential post-war Japanese photographer whose work has rarely been seen in the UK. It will be the first time Miyako's work has been exhibited in Scotland.

The show which runs from 28 July to 8 October 2022 will consist of a selection of work from some of her most celebrated series including, Mother’s, the series with which she represented Japan at the Venice Biennale in 2005; work commissioned by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in 2007 - to capture everyday objects which had belonged to victims of the atomic bomb - and photographs from the series Frida, made at The Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City where Miyako photographed Kahlo’s garments such as corsets, cosmetics and shoes. The artist will be in Edinburgh for a rare visit to the UK in late July.

Ishiuchi Miyako (born 1947) began her photographic career shooting familiar streets and buildings in her hometown, Yokosuka, which had been transformed during the post-war period into one of the largest American naval bases in the Pacific. For over ten years, Miyako documented this alien presence, capturing traces of the US Occupation that lingered decades after the war had ended, and charging her work with a subjectivity which blended personal and political awareness.

Miyako was immersed as a student in the radical political climate of Tokyo at the end of the 1960s. Contemporary identity politics and debates surrounding self-expression encouraged her to reflect upon her fraught relationship with Yokosuka, and in 1976 she returned to the town she has characterized as a place of fear, grief, resentment, and disorientation.

More recently, Miyako’s work has continued to record material traces of the passage of time, turning her lens away from locations towards the bodies and personal belongings of people. Her series Mother’s (2000-05), in which she documented her mother’s possessions as a means of coming to terms with their relationship and her mother’s death, was selected to represent Japan at the 2005 Venice Biennale. This led the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to invite her to capture everyday objects which had belonged to victims of the atomic bomb. The Frida Kahlo Museum later commissioned Miyako to photograph Kahlo’s objects at the Blue House in Mexico City (Frida, 2013).

Miyako’s work has been exhibited and collected by numerous prestigious collections and institutions around the world. Retrospectives of her work have been held at The Getty, Los Angeles (2015) and the Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan (2017). She was the recipient of the 2014 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography.

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