Mika Ninagawa, known for her brilliant colored photos, holds an exhibit titled “LUCKY STAR NINAGAWA MEN & WOMEN” until May 6th at Space O of Omotesando Hills.
The exhibit displays approx. 180 portraits selected from photo collection books “NINAGAWA MEN 1” and “NINAGAWA WOMEN 2” from Kodansha with catchphrase “I think cool girls / boys are national treasures!”
The exhibit features photos taken these past 2 to 3 years including those of Erika Sawajiri, Momoiro Clover Z, Osamu Mukai and other celebrities in colorful and powerful enlarged panels.
The venue is decorated using motifs of stars and each photo is displayed so that when one views the space from above, the layout forms a star shape. On the 25th, one day prior to the opening, a reception party was held where Nobuaki Kaneko and other celebrities appearing in the photos attended.
We interviewed Ms. Ninagawa regarding the exhibit.
- Please tell us about the exhibit “LUCKY STAR NINAGAWA MEN & WOMEN.”
The color of each photo is very strong and people tend to think that I provide detailed instructions to each model on how to pose, but in fact I create the set and leave the rest to the models.
The photo shoot with actress Erika Sawajiri (who starred in the movie “Helter Skelter,” which Ninagawa directed for the first time) left the biggest impression on me since we worked together closely this past year.
Osamu Mukai and Go Ayano are some of the models I thought would become famous when I was taking photos of them. Having the experience of my hunch being correct numerous times, I’ve come to consider my senses to be very reliable.
- The title of the exhibit mentions the phrase “Lucky Star.” Who is a lucky star seen through your eyes?
I think I am a lucky star (laugh). My company’s name is Lucky Star because it is a phrase that I love. I think that lucky stars bring upon happy situations and I want to be in the center of all this.
- Are there any differences when you shoot male models vs. female models?
Yes. When I photograph women, depending on my mood I feel like their friend, older sister, mother and sometimes a man in their life. The perspective of my photos depends on my moods but I try to take photos from various perspectives. Also, because I can relate to women, I will photograph them in my image of how cool women would look like. When I photograph men, I become quite girly and think about how good looking each model is (laugh)! I get to see these gorgeous guys from the best seat and I feel that through my photos, I am sharing this excitement with my audience.
- Are there any differences when taking photos of people vs. items or landscapes?
It is basically the same in the sense that I am photographing something or someone that I love. The deciding factor is how much I can like the subject. If the subject is a person, it becomes important that there is a foundation of trust.
- Who do you want to photograph next?
I can be greedy so if possible, I would like to photograph all the people of my desires such as Rie Miyazawa and Ryoko Yonekura, who are both close to my age and very charming women. I still have not had the opportunity to meet either of them.
Items sold limitedly at the exhibit such as collaboration items with mastermind JAPAN will be available. Also, talk events featuring Mika Ninagawa and other special guests will be held during the period.
Mika Ninagawa Photo Exhibit “LUCKY STAR NINAGAWA MEN & WOMEN”
Dates: Apr. 26th to May 6th
Time: 11 am to 9 pm (closes at 6 pm on final day)
Venue: B3 floor Space O Omotesando Hills Main Building
Admission: free of charge