Saturday, March 8, 2008

Miwa Yanagi

Copyright Miwa Yanagi
White Casket. Photographs by Miwa Yanagi. Nazraeli Press, Tucson, 2003. 72 pp., 48 color illustrations, 13x12".
In our present age of supreme mobility, differences of culture with other industrialized nations are rarely shocking; things seem to stay in the realm of being an oddity at most. The tradition of employing 'elevator girls' in upscale Japanese department stores is definitely in this category. Assigned the role of hostess, the coveted position of 'elevator girl' brings an aura of elegance to the shopping experience. Miwa Yanagi flips this world on its head in The White Casket, a body of work that casts groups of elevator girls into elaborate fictional scenes. Both the photographs and the book are immaculate—large format, crisp design with seamless digital renderings.
(Courtesy of Photo-Eye)
here for the Book Tease
Publisher's Description:
White Casket. In The White Casket, Japanese artist Miwa Yanagi has created a bizarre fantasy world inhabited by department store “elevator girls.” In upscale Japanese department stores, the elevator girl performs the role of a hostess, directing customers to their destinations while lending an aura of elegance to the shopping experience. The position of elevator girl is a highly-prized one; those holding this position are selected by management, and are expected to exude youth, innocence and beauty. In The White Casket – the collective title for the work as presented here – Yanagi takes advantage of digital technology to create virtual spaces composed of elements from several different locations, creating elaborate settings in which the elevator girls live as “prisoners in paradise.” Miwa Yanagi is a pioneer in contemporary photo-based art. Her work is included in important public and private collections throughout Japan, the US, and Europe. The White Casket documents this well-known body of work in a large-format, beautifully-reproduced monograph.
Miwa Yanagi Interview @ JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY ART- online here

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