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An image of Boot of shrimps by KON Michiko

KON Michiko

(Japan 1955 – )

Boot of shrimps
Other titles:
Boots of shrimps
Place of origin
Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
Media category
Materials used
gelatin silver photograph

51.1 x 41.3 cm image; 60.7 x 50.8 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed l.r. verso, pencil "Michiko Kon". Dated l.l. verso, pencil "1995".
Purchased 1995
Accession number
© KON Michiko
Not on display
Further information

Kon is one of the leading contemporary photographers in Japan, whose idiosyncratic images combine the familiar shapes of everyday objects with the unfamiliar textures of raw food. The surreal images she thus creates not only break a taboo (of playing with food) but take the viewer into a realm of fantasy. Kon began photography as part of her training in printmaking at Tokyo's Sôkei School of Art, from which she graduated in 1978. By the 1980s she was exhibiting widely in Japan, Europe and the United States, and was awarded the prestigious Kimura Ihee Award in 1991. Concerning the 'texture' of her work, Kon recounts an incident on a train when she saw a properly dressed teenage girl suddenly and quite naturally begin licking the metal lock on the train window. Kon relates this bizarre behaviour to her own desire to capture the uncommon, the peculiar and the disconcerting in her photographs.

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 285.

Bibliography (5)

Judy Annear, The Enigmatic Object, Sydney, 1997.

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 285 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Photography', Sydney, 2003, 293 (illus.).

Public Programmes Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales and The Japan Foundation (Editors), Art speaks Japanese: Japanese language education kit from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2007, colour illus.. card no. 16

Jane Somerville, Look, 'The familiar made strange', Newtown, May 2007, 20 (illus.).

Exhibition history (1)

The Enigmatic Object, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Apr 1997–22 Jun 1997