White Rainbow is proud to announce Broken Heart, a solo exhibition of photography and sculpture by Japanese artist Mari Katayama (b. 1987, Gunma, Japan). This is the artist’s first UK solo show.
In her arresting and visceral work, Katayama’s body features prominently, surrounded by intricately arranged objects, in intimate settings or set against vast landscapes. Born with various physical develop- mental challenges, Katayama had both legs amputated at age nine and has since lived with prosthetics. Using her body as a living sculpture, she photographs herself among intricately embroidered, hand-sewn objects and her prosthetic legs. Investigating issues of beauty, frailty, sensuality, femininity, vulnerability and characterisation of her physicality as less-able bodied. Katayama’s artistic practice is shaped by her direct experiences of her condition and societies obsession and anxieties about bodily appearance. Her striking work does not solely focus on disability itself, or the representation of the female body, but rather embodies the challenges brought about by her condition and wider perception of disability, in relations between the self and others.
In Katayama’s evocative, self-portraits and embroidered textile sculptures the artist attempts to objectify her own physical condition by constructing an alternative narrative around the image of the stigmatized body. Using her body as the site where representations of difference and identity are inscribed, Katayama explores the tensions between her lived bodily experiences and the cultural meanings inscribed on the female body. Exposing the challenges ascertaining to her physicality and identity, by forcefully pulling the viewer into staged scenes or events, where fixed historical, social, and cultural norms are exposed as ideals to be challenged and redefined.