Ishiuchi Miyako


Ishiuchi Miyako, a prominent Japanese photographer, was born in 1947 in Yokosuka, a city that would later become the focal point of her early photographic work. Growing up in the aftermath of World War II, Ishiuchi was profoundly influenced by the American military presence and the « Americanization » of Japanese culture that followed the occupation. She began her photographic career in the late 1970s, capturing the gritty reality of her hometown. Her stark, grainy black-and-white images of the city’s streets and buildings, marked by the lingering shadows of the American military, established her as a key figure in the are-bure-boke (rough, blurred, out of focus) style that emerged in Japanese photography during this period. Her series « Mother’s » (2000-2005), in which she photographed her late mother’s belongings, was selected to represent Japan at the 2005 Venice Biennale. In recent years, she has also created powerful series such as « ひろしま/hiroshima » (2007-2014), which documents the personal belongings of atomic bomb victims, and « Frida » (2013), a photographic portrait of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s possessions. Ishiuchi’s work has been widely exhibited internationally, and she has received numerous prestigious accolades, including the Hasselblad Award in 2014, which is often referred to as the « Nobel Prize of Photography. In 2024, she was awarded the Women In Motion Prize for photography at the Rencontres d’Arles.