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.