Toshio Hara, owner of the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art located in the residential area of Shinagawa, Tokyo, made a rare public appearance to introduce the opening of the solo exhibit of the multitalented Mika Ninagawa. Hara is a longtime fan of Ninagawa’s works, and it was his dream to display her works in his museum. Ninagawa, a photographer, film director and fashion designer among many other things, will showcase a selection of works which focus on dark elements in contrast to her often colorful and happy pieces.

"Since I was a student, I've visited the museum many times. I'm thrilled to be able to open my solo exhibit here," said Ninagawa at the press conference.

Titled "Self-image", the exhibit will present a video installation created in collaboration with musician Keiichiro Shibuya, works taken from the "noir" series focusing on life and death, photos of cherry blossoms taken at a popular area in Tokyo and self-portraits.

Born in Tokyo, Ninagawa is a winner of numerous prizes recognizing her work as a photographer, including the 13th Canon New Cosmos of Photography and 26th Kimura Ihei Award. She has published nearly 90 photobooks to date. She made her directorial debut in 2007 with a film titled "SAKURAN" based on the popular manga series written by Moyoco Anno, which tells a story about a rebellious courtesan-in-training. The film was presented at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival and the 31st Hong Kong International Film Festival. Five years later, she released her second film "Helter Skelter".

"The movie was such a huge project, I felt like I was filming for someone else rather than myself. I was angry, and the self-portraits were taken on the last day of filming in order to compensate for the unsettled feelings," she explained.

The solo exhibit focuses on the artist’s career as a photographer. One of the exhibits, "PLANT A TREE", depicts the exquisite cherry blossoms by the Meguro River. Ninagawa took a series of photos in the span of three hours to express the beauty of the short-lived flowers. "It doesn't seem like I took these photos. Through this exhibit, I want to express a new side of me to my fans."

Exhibition Details:
Title: Mika Ninagawa: Self-image
Dates: January 24 - May 10, 2015
Venue: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
Hours: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm, Wednesday until 8:00 pm (last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Closed: Monday (except May 4) and May 7
Adult 1,100 yen;
Student (university and high school) 700 yen;
Student (junior high and elementary) 500 yen