TOMOKO SAWADA - Recruit
Japanese artist Tomoko Sawada uses photography and techniques of performance art to explore ideas of identity, status, culture, individualism, stereotypes, and conformity through traditional and contemporary methods of portraiture, making use of cosmetics and costume to dramatically alter her appearance. In her different series, each photograph appears to represent a different individual or group, yet all of the subjects are in fact the artist herself.
In Recruit, Tomoko Sawada continues her work on the autoportrait at the heart of contemporary Japanese society. This time, she explores the identity photos which Japanese students take at the end of their studies when they start looking for work. She retains the well-established formal conventions - dress, posture, neutral facial expression - but adds a subtle variation. Starting with a fixed photographic method, which imitates the photobooth with its similar lighting, unchanging framework and pose-taking, she multiplies the images by playing on her hairdo, her makeup and her facial expression. She surprises the audience by showing difference which she renders possible and visible on her face, and demonstrates therefore the relative character of all appearance.
The three contact sheets of portaits are arranged in a grid in the book, giving us a global vision of the number of photographs while inviting us to look from one face to the next.
39 x 23 cm Hardcover
Published by RVB Books