Mari Katayama is a Japanese artist who uses photography, sculpture, performance, and textiles to explore the relationship between self and physicality in her layered projects. Using her body as material, she performs self-portraits for the camera, often wearing her own patchworked, embroidered creations, and stuffed prosthetics, as she takes on various identities that explore vulnerabilities and empowerment within the body. Born with a rare condition, Katayama had her legs amputated at the age of nine and learned to walk using prosthetics. She became accustomed to sewing her own clothes, which informs her prominent use of fibers within her work and her advocacy for the freedom of choice to be accessible to all bodies, a platform she iterates through the High Heel Project. Join us for an evening with Katayama for her talk, “Myself and the Others: Self-Portraits and this World.”

Ticketing Info

General Admission

Current members, log in or use your discount code to receive your discount. If you have issues processing your payment, please email

Educator Rate (Field Trips)

  • $6 Per Student for Individual Lecture (30% off)
  • $23 Per Student for Season Pass (35% off)

Email to book your virtual class field trip.

About the Series

ICP Talks is ICP’s beloved photographer’s lecture series. Join us each season for lectures featuring renowned photographers who champion social change through photography, use innovative practices that expand the form, and critically engage with the role of images in visual culture today. The winter/spring season takes place from February through May and includes Cheriss May, Smita Sharma, and Mari Katayama. Reserve your season pass today to attend all four lectures!

Note: We strive to record all the ICP Talks lectures to make available to participants up to 14 days after the program, but technical issues do happen. Recordings are not guaranteed for each lecture. We recommend participants to tune in live if there is a session they don’t want to miss.

Field Trips for High Schools, Colleges, and University Students

Plan your field trip now! Educator’s receive a 30% discount on individual lectures ($6 per student per individual lecture) and a 35% discount on season passes ($23 per student for all four lectures) when booking for a class or student group. Email to book your virtual class field trip.

About the Program Format

This program will take place on Zoom. Those who register to attend will receive a confirmation email with a link located at the bottom of the email under ‘Important Information’ to join the lecture through a computer or mobile device.

We recommend participants download the Zoom app on their device prior to the program. Learn how to download the latest version of Zoom to your computer or mobile device.

If you do not receive the link by 11 AM on the day of the lecture or if you have questions about the virtual lecture, please contact:

Speaker Bio

Mari Katayama was born in Saitama in 1987 and raised in Gunma, Japan. and graduated with a master’s degree in Department of Intermedia Art at Tokyo University of the Arts in 2012. Suffering from congenital tibial hemimelia, Katayama had both legs amputated at the age of 9. Since then, she has created numerous self-portrait photography together with embroidered objects and decorated prostheses, using her own body as a living sculpture. Her belief is that tracing herself connects with other people and her everyday life can be also connected with society and the world, just like the patchwork made with threads and a needle by stitching borders.

In addition to her art creation, Katayama leads “High Heel Project” in which she wears customized high-heeled shoes specially made for prosthesis to perform on stage as a singer, model, and keynote speaker. The motto of this project is to take advantage of any means including art and disabled bodies if it helps to expand the “freedom of choice” for those in desperate need. Her major exhibitions include, 58th Venice Biennale 2019 (Giardini and Arsenale, Venice, Italy), Broken Heart (White Rainbow, London, 2019), Photographs of Innocence and of Experience-Contemporary Japanese Photography vol.14 (Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo, 2017), On the way home (The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, 2017), Roppongi Crossing - My body, your voice (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2016), and Aichi Triennale 2013 (Nayabashi, Aichi). Public collections include La Maison Rouge (Paris, France), Collection Antoine de Galbert (Paris, France), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan), Arts Maebashi (Gunma, Japan), and Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan). She received the Encouraging Prize of Gunma Biennale for Young Artists in 2005, Grand Prix of Art Award Tokyo Marunouchi in 2012, Higashikawa Award for the New Photographer category in 2019, and Kimura Ihei Award in 2020. Her first photo book, GIFT, was published in 2019 by United Vagabonds.

Image: Mari Katayama