Emi Anrakuji

Japan / °1963
Emi Anrakuji represents herself as an alchemist of images and a catalyst for daydreams and desires. The vignettes of jigsaw puzzle-like photographs of herself and others blur the boundaries between documentary and staged photography. Posing naked, clothed, or partially dressed, Anrakuji takes a uniquely obsessive interest in her own body. Her legs, arms, toes, lips and hair create arresting compositions and erotic ambience. Anrakuji's obsession with the human body is a result, in part, from her long periods spent hospitalized: after graduating from art school in Tokyo in the mid-1980s, she suffered a cerebral tumor that prevented her from making art for more than a decade. During her gradual recovery, she began to make block prints, then photographs

A protégé of Daido Moriyama, Emi Anrakuji has been dedicating her career to the medium of photography, mostly black and white, using her own self as a subject of investigation. Anrakuji's most recent series O MAPA, from Portuguese “The Map”, allows multiple entry points of interpretation, leaving the viewer to decipher the moments and actions in which the artist confronts her familiar surroundings. The energy and tension set in motion is visually constrained by a limited space where the artist evolves. Through a series of unidentifiable actions, Anrakuji explores multiple paths, which leads to the mapping of one’s ephemeral existence. (https://paddle8.com/work/emi-anrakuji/24001-a-suite-of-5-photographs-from-o-mapa-series-untitled-1044510406-10433-10147-10362)

Confined to a bed for the better part of a decade, Emi Anrakuji’s brain tumour caused irrevocable damage to her eyesight. Trapped in her own private hell she began to explore photography – by way of the intimate folds of her body. The result is an unorthodox series of self-portraits that seem both liberating and oppressive in equal measure.

The elusive Emi Anrakuji.... (http://www.bjp-online.com/2015/07/emi-anrakuji-18-millimetres-its-the-size-of-my-bed/)
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Jaak Mortelmans


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