Tomoko Sawada has created a large number of works employing the method of self-portraiture. Since her debut work ID400 (1998), in which she took 400 identification photos of herself in various altered appearances in a photo booth, Sawada has continued to employ the styles and culture of the photographic portrait that are peculiar to Japan such as the omiai portrait (omiai is an arranged meeting of potential marriage partners), the school group portrait, and the street fashion portrait to explore the interrelationship of outer image and inner life and satirize various stereotypes of identity. In this photograph series, Sawada transforms herself 300 times, taking on the appearance of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, and other East Asian women. This ambitious work transcends nationality to squarely confront the vacillation of identity.
Profile Tomoko Sawada Born in 1977. Sawada’s debut work ID400 received the Honorable Mention Award at the 2000 Canon New Cosmos of Photography, the 2004 Kimura Ihei Memorial Photography Award, and the Twentieth Annual ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographers from the New York International Center of Photography. Exhibitions of Sawada’s work are held throughout the world including in New York, London, France, and Spain.
ID400, OMIAI, School Days
Exhibitions 2015 FACIAL SIGNATURE & Kawaii: NADiff A/P/A/R/T (Tokyo) FACIAL SIGNATURE: Gallery MEM (Tokyo) TOMOKO SAWADA: My Faces, KEN KITANO: our face-prayers: Pace/MacGill Gallery