Yasumasa Morimura

(1951) Japanese


Yasumasa Morimura, born 1951 in Osaka, is a Japanese artist whose work deals with issues of cultural and sexual appropriation. Morimura studied art at Kyoto City University of Arts and in 1985 made his first avant-garde self-portrait based on an iconic portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. Since then, Morimura has taken iconic images from pop culture, the media, and art history and deconstructed them using costumes, makeup, props, and digital manipulation to make provocative self-portraits.
The artist’s works exude playfulness and attest to the artist’s self-described role as an entertainer who wants to “make art that is fun.” Morimura’s work also addresses subtler issues, like that of Japan’s complex relationship with Western culture. Morimura’s has had solo exhibitions in Japan at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, the Yokohama Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo. His works are also found in many collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Jacqueline Gilbert
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