Mikiko Hara tries to grasp “empty” moments in the blink of an eye before they form any meaning. As a result, the people and places in her work seem free from geographical and historical reference. They are somewhere as well as nowhere, they are both at a particular moment and any moment. These paradoxically intriguing images are printed from color negatives made with a classic camera originally designed for monochrome films, adding a distinctively soft tonality and texture.
Born 1967 in Toyama Prefecture in Japan, Mikiko Hara graduated from Keio University where she studied art theory and art history. Through her involvement in experimental theatre, she discovered photography and enrolled at Tokyo College of Photography in 1992. During her first two years of study, she learned and practiced the basics of “street snapshots” under the photographer Kiyoshi Suzuki and other faculty staff. She took the advanced courses of the same school for two more years to develop her personal color-snapshot style. Since graduating in 1996, she has held a number of solo exhibitions in Tokyo, Osaka, and New York, and has participated in important museum group exhibitions in Japan, France, The Netherlands, Germany, China, Demark, and the United States. Her work is in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art among others. Hara is this year’s winner of the 42nd Kimura Ihei Photography Award.