Tomoko Sawada “Sign”

Dates: March 2 – 31, 2013
Venue: MEM map
open hours:12:00-20:00 closed on Mondays
tel. +81-(0)3-6459-3205

The exhibition will feature Tomoko Swada’s new series, “Sign”. This was first exhibited at a group show Factory Direct in the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, USA.
The series consists of 2 sets of 56-piece photographs of the Heinz Ketchup and Mustard. Remarkable these labels of “Tomato Ketchup” and “Yellow Mustard” have been translated into 56 languages of countries selling them. The abel and bottle are like a “face” that you can recognize the Heinz company. Here Heinz’s linguistic face was changed by Sawada.

In Sawada’s previous work, she used basic drugstore cosmetics and off-the-rack clothing to morpho into various age and ethnicity. She used similar basic tools to textually costume Heinz. Rather than using a professional translation service, Tomoko Sawada gathered the translations of “Tomato Ketchup” and “Yellow Mustard” through the internet search, and even her Facebook artist page to enlist her international friends and fans in the task.

Tomoko Sawada uses photography to explore the relationship between one’s inner life and outer image.  Her works borrow compositional devices from familiar photographic formats such as the school portrait, wedding and fashion photography, restaging them in a satirical mode so as to lay bare their various stereotypes and assumptions.  Predominantly casting herself in the role of model, Sawada has built an extraordinary cast of characters that present a humorous and incisive portrait of Japanese society.  Her works have been presented internationally and are in major public collections including Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, International Center of Photography, New York and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.  Tomoko Sawada lives and works in Kobe, Japan and New York City.