Kimura employs photography and video as vehicles of expression to question the excessive power of the media in contemporary society. More precisely her work makes a critique of the media's influence on our identity. Her video work often uses images of movie heroines and images of herself that momentarily overlap and separate from each other. Kimura casts herself in different roles revealing her wishes and desires in front of the camera to a disquieting effect.



With Chanel, Dior and Gucci fast becoming household names, hipster culture is sweeping the nation. And it’s indiscriminately affecting the young as well as the old. Japan in the last decennia has become the stage for a luxury frenzy, kept in constant abuzz by a scenery of digital billboard signs. It might then just be bowing to the age-old slogans in a high-tech wrapper - “You can become whatever you want”, “Stay true to yourself” - as a nation obsessed with status and fantasy it thrives on the tactics of the commercial industry.

Marked by her culture’s desires, Kimura puts the claims of the commercial realm to the test. Casting herself in different roles, revealing her wishing and wanting in front of the camera, Kimura generously gives in to the address of advertising. To a troublesome effect: as she infuses the commercial slogans of self-empowerment onto herself, the artist gradually loses the authority to act and speak. In Karaoke Actress (2006), she hovers on just a square meter lost and agitated; in Virtual Sanctuary (2003) she lays passive and silent on the bed Kimura’s video’s and photographs, then, trace the basic structure of the economic apparatus: tapping into every aspect of the public and private domain, capitalism has refashioned reality to a sheer commodity. With man unable to connect to life only through the lens of the economic, his fate is alienation.

In the piece Blue Bird Street, made as part of the Playback-quadrilogy (produced during an artist residency at AIR Antwerpen) Kimura ingenuously extends her artistic research using her signature technique: a mixture of existing film footage and “amateur” replayings of scenes. In Kimura’s re-imagining of the film, the spectacular horror shifts to the dreariness of the working place, with its strict repertoire of gestures and behaving. Blue Bird Street centres around a dialogue on hope and understanding. But as the dialogue is built up by nearly twenty participants who don’t understand the language they’re speaking, the message becomes fragmented and devoid of any significance - an apt metaphor for the condition of modern man.

Text by Björn Scherlippens


MAYUMI KIMURA Map for Your Sentimental Journey




MAYUMI KIMURA Théâtre des Chocolat Transendant





© digital arts gallery uk. 2008