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Born in Tokyo in 1963, Kimiko Yoshida says she fled Japan because she had died, and took refuge in France to escape her grief. As a child, she always felt like a nomad, a fugitive wanderer, and when she arrived in France she had to learn the language like a new-born child.

Kimiko Yoshida describes her work in the following terms: “The conceptual protocol for my self-portraits, since 2001, has been constant: always the same subject (self-portrait), the same framing (frontal), the same light (indirect), the same chromatic principle (I am painted the same colour as the background), the same format (square). Make-up and direct shooting: no Photoshop or digital editing. The same figure is therefore repeated but is not identical to itself: the more it is repeated, the more it differs from itself.

Kimiko Yoshida emphasises the polyphonic meanings of an art that proceeds by folding and hybridising, crossing and blending Japan and Europe, Africa and the East, the masculine and the feminine, the present and the past, minimalism and baroque, photography and painting, self-portraiture and multiplicity, identity and identifications, art and ritual, space and time, being and not-being.

Her journey to Africa and her discovery of animist rituals, fetishes and ornaments, was no less decisive for the artist than her arrival in Europe and her discovery of Baroque art: Africa and Europe, so antinomic with the Japanese aesthetic of fragile beauty and detachment, this search for refined form and subtraction, this ascetic will to renounce self and the Void, this ability to let go… In exploring aesthetics and cultures in Africa and Europe, I’ve found nothing that combines the Japanese taste for subtraction and silence, the concise minimalism of Zen Buddhism, and the Shinto formalism of erasure and incompleteness. It is this exile that has enabled me to introduce into my work this function of dissimilarity, this otherness that I am aware is so essential to the meaning of art.” Kimiko makes her way through art history, masked, between Paris, Tokyo and Venice, and her works are in countless important collections.

Exhibitions at the gallery

Ernest Dükü / Kimiko Yoshida

Group show




MasKarade(s), Exhibition catalogue