“Identity Doesn’t Exist” —Kimiko Yoshida

“There is no search for identity in my work. I know that identity doesn’t exist. There are only infinite layers of me. If I peel them back, like the skin of an onion, there will be nothing underneath.” —Kimiko Yoshida

Kimiko Yoshida’s quasi-monochrome self-portraits have constituted her signature works since 2001. The conceptual protocol is always the same: same setting, same subject, same lighting, same framing. Thus, the same face is repeatedly portrayed but is never identical to itself, changing more with each repetition. Currently, Yoshida is using her own photographs to make Rorschach paintings, using matte archival pigment prints on canvas. The allusion to Rorschach introduces immaterial otherness, moving what was purely representational towards abstraction. Yoshida’s work is informed by her self-imposed “exile” from Japan to France. She told ArtDaily in an interview: “I fled Japan to escape an arranged marriage, the servitude of women, social discipline, the burden of submission to the group.” Yoshida has since worked in photography, video, sculpture, painting and glassmaking in France and Italy. This artwork feature originally appeared in the Madness issue.

Painting (Pallas, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Crafts and Arts, by Botticelli).

Painting (Pallas, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Crafts and Arts, by Botticelli).
Self-portrait
Kimiko Yoshida
Archival pigment print on matte canvas, UV coating, 57 × 57 inches, 2010.
Painting (Ophelia by Delacroix). Self-portrait

Painting (Ophelia by Delacroix). Self-portrait
Kimiko Yoshida
Archival pigment print on matte canvas, UV coating, 57 × 57 inches, 2010.
RorschachYoshida IV (Gold Merchant S)

RorschachYoshida IV (Gold Merchant S)
Kimiko Yoshida
Acrylic and glow-in-the-dark paint on matte archival pigment print on canvas, 15.75 × 15.75 inches, 2010.
RorschachYoshida LXXXII (Condottiere L)

RorschachYoshida LXXXII (Condottiere L)
Kimiko Yoshida
Acrylic paint, glitter, and glow-in-the-dark paint on matte archival pigment print on canvas, 55 × 55 inches, 2016.
RorschachYoshida XLII (Minotaur M)

RorschachYoshida XLII (Minotaur M)
Kimiko Yoshida
Acrylic paint, glitter, and glow-in-the-dark paint on matte archival pigment print on canvas, 29.5 × 29.5 inches, 2016.

Kimiko Yoshida was born in Tokyo in 1963, and now lives in Paris, Venice, and Tokyo. She studied photography in Japan and then in France where she has been living and working since 1995. She has had many solo shows in museums all over the world. kimiko.fr

RorschachYoshida II (Minotaur L)

RorschachYoshida II (Minotaur L)
Kimiko Yoshida
Acrylic and glow-in-the-dark paint on matte archival pigment print on canvas, 56 × 56 inches, 2009.

Check out another art feature: Art Series of Fierce Females by Holly Suzanne Rader