Stills Gallery to Present Solo Exhibition of Japanese Photographer Ishiuchi Miyako

To coincide with the Edinburgh Art Festival, Stills presents a solo exhibition by influential post-war Japanese photographer Ishiuchi Miyako whose work has rarely been seen in the UK. The exhibition will mark the first time Miyako’s work has been shown in Scotland.

The show, that runs from 28th July to 8th October 2022,  will comprise  a selection of work from some of her most celebrated series. These will include 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 that capture everyday objects which had belonged to victims of the atomic bomb. It also includes photographs from the series Frida 2013,made at The Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City where Miyako photographed some of Kahlo’s garments
at the iconic Blue House there.

Ishiuchi Miyako was born in 1947 and 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.

As a student Miyako was immersed 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.

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.

Ishiuchi Miyako will be in Edinburgh for a rare visit to the UK in late July. 

Irene Brown

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