Born in Osaka, Japan in 1951, Morimura is one of the most internationally known Japanese contemporary artists. He became famous worldwide thanks to his series Art History, mainly made from reinterpretations of masterpieces of the European painting. Morimura assumes personally all the characters appearing in the pictures, highlighting the lack of oriental features in the arts histories edited in Europe. It’s a master metaphor of his personal settling of scores with the colonizer Occident.
His works reflect how Japan has been able to assimilate alien cultures to its one to metamorphose them and then turn them into something of its own by means of an ambiguous dual field: Orient vs. Occident; artist vs. spectator; original vs. copy; masculine vs. feminine… Pretence of appropriations and reconstructions livened up with his irreverent and demystifying irony and with evident echoes of his passion for theatre.
Extracted from Pilar Gonzalo’s essay about Yasumasa Morimura titled El cuerpo como signo (The body as a sign).