Tomoko Sawada

Like Cindy Sherman, Tomoko Sawada embodies this second generation of female artists who chose photographic representation to explore the issue of identity and denounce the conventions of contemporary culture. The young Japanese artist focuses on society’s various photographic practices such as school portraits, wedding photography, or studio fashion photography. Dressed up as many different characters, she emphasizes the stereotypes inherent to these customs and traditions. Her first important series is centered on the photobooth. During weeks, she plays 400 different identities in a photobooth in Tokyo central train station, performing feminine figures of all ages and styles by changing costumes, hairstyles, and make-up. Tomoko Sawada diverts the identity process of the photobooth: her 400 self-portraits reveal nothing about her, except an incredible talent for the art of camouflage. (Credit: ID400 (Numbers 301-400) © Tomoko Sawada, courtesy of MEM / Collection of the Wilson Center for Photography)