Miwa Yanagi  (Japanese, 1967) 

Miwa Yanagi (Japanese, b.1967), was born in Kobe, Japan. She graduated from Kyoto University of Arts, and had her first solo show in 1993 at the Art Space Niji in Kyoto. It was here that Yanagi exhibited her performance Elevator Girl, which consisted of a woman dressed as an elevator operator performing ritualized actions. This performance evolved into a series of photographs of the same name. The theme of the role of women in Japanese society explored in Elevator Girls proved to be of reoccurring importance.

In 1996, Yanagi was nominated to participate in Prospect 96, a group show at the Shirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, which exposed her work to an international audience. After her success in Germany, Yanagi continued to make work with the series My Grandmothers (2000). In this series, Yanagi explores the place of women in Japanese culture by creating photographs that depict young women’s ideas about their lives 50 years from now.

Yanagi then went on to create Fairy Tales in 2004. In 2009, the artist unveiled her Windswept Women series at the 53rd Venice Biennale. She has won many awards from Japan and throughout the world, including the Takashimaya Prize (2006) and the Leopold Godowsky Jr. Color Photography Award from Boston University. Yagani currently lives and works in Kyoto.

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Miwa Yanagi, Elevator Girl House 3


Miwa Yanagi
Elevator Girl House 3

Rita Krauss Fine Art
Past auction results (52)  View All
Miwa Yanagi, White Casket (bk w/1 work)


Miwa Yanagi
White Casket (bk w/1 work), 2004
color print


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Miwa Yanagi, Hiroko


Miwa Yanagi
Hiroko, 2001
c-print, diasec


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Miwa Yanagi, Al (My Grandmothers)


Miwa Yanagi
Al (My Grandmothers), 2004
c-print, in wood box


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1967   Born in Kobe, Japan.
1991   Awarded a diploma from the University of Kyoto's fine art (IIIth cycle).
1998   Premier Prix : Leopold Godowsky Jr.Color Photography Award (Centre de Ressources photographiques à l'Université de Boston, USA).
1999   Prix VOCA : The vision of Contemporary Art, Musée Royal de Ueno, Tokyo
1999   Kyoto City Artist Prize, Kyoto
1999   Higashigawa Prize, Higashigawa, Hokkaido
2000   Sakuya-Konoha Prize (Osaka City)
2002   Festival International EXIT, Maison des Arts de Créteil
2002   Biennale de Sydney
2002   Photo Espana
2002   "Illusion. Japanese Photography", Odense, Danemark
2002   Espace Shiseido, Ginza, Tokyo
2002   Espace Kinri, Japan
2002   "My Grandmothers", Galerie Almine Rech, Paris
2001   Galerie Kodama, Osaka
2001   Triennale de Yokohama
2001   "La représentation des femmes dans la photographie contemporaine",
2001   "Surface lisse", Musée de la Photographie de Mougins
2000   "Gendai-Japanese Contemporary Art - Between the body and the space", Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Varsovie
2000   "Cos-Play", Art et Amicitae, Amsterdam
2000   Art Space Niji, Kyoto
2000   Galerie Almine Rech, Paris.
1999   Galerie Kodama, Osaka.
1999   "Visions of the Body", Musée National d'Art Moderne
1998   Tastes and Pursuits : Japanese Art in the 1990s", Musée National d'Art Moderne de New Delhi.
1998   Art Space Niji, Kyoto.
1997   "Criterium 31", Contemporary Art Gallery Art Tower Mito, Ibaragi.
1997   "Ginza Gallery Net, 97 post womanhood", Galerie Muramatsu,Tokyo.
1994   "Looking for the next story", galerie Sowata, Kyoto.