Mari Katayama Artist Talk at Michigan Theater
Mari Katayama: Artist Talk
October 10, 2019 at Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor
As part of the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series, Japanese artist Mari Katayama discussed her art and life with Natsu Oyobe, Curator of Asian Art of the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA).
Translation was provided by Megumi Segawa. Katayama was born with a developmental condition, and had both her legs amputated at the age of 9. In her talk, she said she started making art by painting her prosthetics, and posting images of these prosthetics and herself on social media when she was a high school student. Through the exposure, several photographers wanted to photograph her as a model, which she felt that she became part of other artists’ works, not her own.
The revelation led her to shoot her own self-portraits. In her work, she treats her body as “material” and keeps distance from it. In addition to photography, she also creates soft sculptures out of fabric and threads, from the body shape and photo image of her body. Her first exhibition in U.S. is currently on view at UMMA through January 26, 2020 by JBSD’s sponsorship.