Tomoko Sawada “To Be Bewitched by a Fox”

July 3, 2023

From March 2 to May 9, 2021, the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum held an important exhibition, Tomoko Sawada’s “Kitsune no Yomeiri ( To Be Bewitched by a Fox ).” This solo exhibition of the photographer showcased all her works since her debut 25 years ago.

The works have a very clear consistency, centering around “self-portraits.” Creations from different periods all revolve around the artist’s own image. By taking a certain genre to the extreme, the richness and diversity of the works solidify the photographer’s creative identity.

The photographer enjoys reading other people’s evaluations of her work. At the same time, she maintains a certain distance from these evaluations and does not explicitly promote her own shooting purposes. This also has an interesting implication: her works are so easy to interpret that the photographer simply relinquishes the power to interpret, thus hiding herself.

After all, each photo has its own self, so the “inner self” can easily be hidden among many external selves. This concealment has another value: it allows the photographer to focus entirely on self-activities such as “performance” and “gaze,” enabling the creative process to continue.