Tomoko Sawada – Recruit
Following in the footsteps of Cindy Sherman, Tomoko Sawada embodies the second generation of female artists who choose the photographic mise-en-scène to explore the question of identity and denounce contemporary cultural conventions. This young Japanese artist is particularly interested in the photographic practice within our society such as class, wedding or fashion studio photography. She disguises herself as a multitude of characters to bring out the stereotypes of these customs and habits. With Recruit, Tomoko Sawada continues her work on self-portraiture in contemporary Japanese society. This time she explores the identity photographs that Japanese students take at the end of their studies, in order to look for a job. She has kept the established formal conventions (costume, posture, neutral facial expression), but to thwart them by introducing a subtle variation. From a strict photographic device, taking up the codes of the photo booth (a light always similar, an invariant framing, the same pose), she multiplies the images by playing on her hairstyle, her make-up, and the expression given to her face. She amazes by the difference she makes possible and visible on her face, and demonstrates the relative character of all appearance. Arranged in a grid in the book, the three portrait plates offer a global vision of their number, at the same time as they invite the eye to scroll from one face to another.