Kyoko Takemura (b. 1992, Yokohama, Japan) is an artist working as a discoverer and investigator of hidden truths in everyday objects. Through inspecting the commonplace such as culinary culture and spiritual traditions, her work reflects on the human mind operating behind, that has led to shaping the subjects.
She is a winner of JAPAN PHOTO AWARD 2018 (selected by Emilia Van Lynden / UNSEEN Amsterdam), recipient of 2018 Sony World Photography Awards and Kassel Dummy Award 2020 shortlist. Takemura’s work has been shown in London, Dubai, Berlin, Tokyo, and New York including KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival. Her projects are featured in Libération France, Universal Music Germany, VICE, iD-Magazine among others. She completed her BA at Central Saint Martins, UK. She lives and works in Berlin.
Takemura's work is best described as visual storytelling, between literature and documentation. I work as a discoverer and investigator of hidden truths in everyday objects using photography, text, video and installations. Through inspecting the commonplace, such as culinary culture and spiritual traditions, my work reflects on the human mind operating behind, that has led to shaping the subjects.
The struggle to investigate a quintessence of the cycle of life and death in an enigma of existence is central to my recent practice. ‘Luxury beyond Death‘ series portrays paper offerings sourced from Vietnamese street markets that are traditionally burnt by relatives at the graves of the deceased with the belief that they will need the same luxury items that they had when they were still living. The project highlights our obsession with consumerism whilst simultaneously raising questions about what awaits us in the afterlife.
Her photography attempts to seduce a broad audience using the subjects’ naturally grotesque and elaborate forms. They encourage viewers to step in close to read the text, and then step back to look again, more closely and with a more informed eye. Placed on plain backgrounds and extracted from their original context, the subjects escape their conventional associations. The text aims to lead to disorientation to challenge a viewer’s perceptions and perspectives.