Collaborating together for the first time, Tokyo Rumando and Hideka Tonomura are at the cutting edge of an exciting and groundbreaking generation of new photographers working in Japan today. Despite using very different methodologies, these two women photographers share the same interest in mapping intense psychological subjects to deconstruct the framework that links the past to the present.
Rumando works primarily through self-portraits, and has made several series of nudes, often using an experimental method involving montage. Relentlessly turning the camera on her self-image, Rumando provokes the emergence of an unforeseen “other side” from the depths of her own inner experience, while revealing and exploring connections between her own daily life and the labyrinthine underworld of Japanese “Love Hotels”.
Tonomura had committed to an unflinching account of both mundane and epic moments of her own life, exemplified by the staggering photographic record of her mother’s love affair, and intimate images of her own life working as a bar hostess. Tonomura’s work condenses and crystallises individual prosaic moments, often isolating them in contemplation on their implicit savagery and cruelty. Doing so, Tonomura uses her camera to capture and project an extreme and distorted vision of an uncontextualised, unhinged reality, highlighting the artist’s vengeful attitude towards herself.
Using photography to confront basic and instinctive key human issues, both Rumando and Tonomura continually reverse expectations and take their audiences into complex and moving interior spaces through their emotionally engaging practices.The two photographers participate in a fictitious dream, based on a shared optimism about the potential for art to transcend the problems of daily life.
Tokyo Rumando (b. 1980, Tokyo) worked as surgical and psychiatric nurse, stripper and model for photographers, including Nobuyoshi Araki. She started using an instant camera as a teenager, using it to supplement her income as a dancer by selling to customers the polaroids taken during her shows. Based on her experiences modeling for movies and magazine, she started photographing herself in 2005. Her photography came to the public’s attention when her debut work Rest 3000~, Stay 5000~ was published by Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo in 2012, followed by Orphee in 2014, and selfpolaroids in 2017, also by Zen Foto Gallery. Orphee was included in the group exhibition “Performing for the Camera” at Tate Modern in 2016. In the same year, Taka Ishii Gallery, Paris, France hosted Rumando’s first solo exhibition in Europe, I'm Only Happy When I'm Naked,.
Hideka Tonomura (b. Kobe, 1979) graduated from the Broadcasting and Filmmaking Department of Visual Arts Osaka, before starting her career as a photographer in 2002. Tonomura’ s major solo exhibitions include They Called Me Yukari / mama love (Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo, 2013), mama love (trunk gallery 82, Seoul, 2011), Tonomura Hideka Shageki-0305- (Uplink, Tokyo, 2005), and Unlucky Family (Nikon Salon, Tokyo&Osaka, 2004). Her works have been part of several group exhibitions, including two consecutive editions of FOTOFEVER, Paris, France, in 2014 and 2015. Her photographs have been published in mama love (AKAAKA Art Publishing, 2008), They Called Me Yukari (Zen Foto Gallery, 2013) and orange elephant (Zen Foto Gallery, 2015).
Exhibition Dates: 11–28 May 2018
Admission free, Monday–Friday 9.30am–5pm
Artist Talk: Thursday 17 May 2018, 6pm
The artists will be joined in conversation by
Dr Simon Baker, Director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris.
Events free, booking essential.
ABOVE: "orphee U3", 2014, gelatin silver print © Tokyo Rumando
BELOW: "They called me Yukari #23", 2012, gelatin silver print © Hideka Tonomura