Miki Nitadori

Miki Nitadori is a multi-disciplinary Japanese artist and curator who works based on photography. She is a Third Culture Kid who grew up in Asia, in the Japanese-American community of Hawai’i, and in Europe. She is a migrant. She has a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) specialized in painting, and a Professional Certificate in Photography. She has exhibited and screened in such places as Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (Austria), Honolulu Museum of Arts and Hawai'i State Museum, Hawai'i (USA), Mois de la Photo 2014 in Paris, Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia (USA), Temporary Art Center Eindhoven (Netherlands), The International Film Festival, Rotterdam (Netherlands), and L'imagerie, Lannion (France). She was a pioneer member of 59 Rue Rivoli, 'Chez Robert Electron Libre' Paris, France. 
​She was a member of the collective Plateforme from 2013- 2015. She lives in Paris and works at Le6b in Saint-Denis. Her works are represented by Ibasho, Antwerp.

L'Antichambre project  /  Kazuyoshi Usui: Showa Trilogy

Kazuyoshi Usui's “Showa Trilogy” imagines how Japan would have been if the Showa Era in which we were born had not ended. He confronts us with a vision that blurs the distinction between fiction and reality in a setting that resembles the “real Japan”, but one that has now almost disappeared with the advent of the Olympic Games in the summer of 2020. His photographs do not constitute a fictional narrative, but rather function like headlines that invite spectators to create their own interpretation. Exploring the same theme of the imagined continuation of past time, the artist Yuki Onodera (another photographer participating in the project, Photography? Why? (www.photographywhy.com), in her series “Below Orpheus”, adopted a different approach, excluding all signs of physical human presence from her images, in which the locations in and Spain and New Zealand are photographed in a way evoking suspense, as if the viewer is invited to look for traces of some disappeared person.

Kazuyoshi’s work, on the other hand, frequently adopts a still life approach, presenting room interiors that are rich in details such as cheap plastic flowers, a skull, a carpet and old landline telephone. One of the photographs presented in this exhibition shows a plastic rose displayed in a Tokonoma (alcove). This flower can be interpreted as a metaphor of what is magnificently inexpensive, convincingly bold and eternally living, yet quickly consumed, in parallel to the way people lived during the Showa years. Many people who did not grow up in Japan could imagine these images to be depictions of either present-day Japan or of past Japan. Yet the country he depicts is one that the majority of people brought up in post-war Japan have never experienced. They may recognize certain elements shown within the photographic frame, but have never known this Showa era first hand, other than from watching some movies made in the 1970s and a few TV programs from the 1980s. Kazuyoshi's works are full of the kind of contradictions that are quite real in the context of everyday life.

.../... Written by Miki Nitadori

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Kazuyoshi Usui

Born in Tokyo in 1975. After graduating from the Department of Photography at Japan Polytechnic University in Tokyo in 1998, he joined the Hakuhodo Photo Creative Co., Ltd. (now Hakuhodo Products), then became an independent photographer in 2013. He has exhibited his works at the exhibition In & Out at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (2003), the exhibition Japan at the Maymac Contemporary Art Center, France (2014), and Regards Croisés Japon-Provence at France Provence (2015), as well as participating in art fairs and exhibitions in Japan and abroad, including Gelatin Silver Session (2015, 2017), winner of the 2006 APA Awards in the Advertising Work category, and he has published several books including Macaroni Christian (Art Publishing House), Showa 88, Showa 92, and Showa 96 (Zen Foto Gallery). Showa 92 was nominated for the 41st Kimura Ihei Award. In 2015 his first film, Dalai Lama XIV, was released, having been shot in close-up over six years. It has been shown throughout Japan, starting with Shibuya Eurospace.

 

Kazuyoshi Usui's work intentionally recreates imperfect frames. It mixes elements whose co-existence seems impossible. The viewer wonders whether the image represents reality or some staged scene. He creates tragicomic, illusory fictions that seem like narratives but are more like legends in which the viewer can choose to create the story that develops in the interstices between the photographs. Usui originally wanted to become a filmmaker but turned to photography as soon as he started practicing it.

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