An image of Mackerel, hairtail, and handbag

Michiko Kon

(Japan 1955 – )

Mackerel, hairtail, and handbag

Lower Asian gallery
Further information

Through her work Kon plays with the nature of life and death, animate and inanimate, and it is this liminal aspect which evokes both fascination and disgust when we look at these photographs. There is also an element to the work which could be described as fey (we notice that the boot composed of shrimp [ 205.1993] has roses around its top and one shrimp has fallen off, or not quite made it onto its elegant host). The slip hanging from the cheap wire coathanger [ 206.1995] is composed of plants, which resemble tiny limbs and feet. This animation of the undergarment invites feelings which are not appropriate to such an intimate article of clothing. The handbag in this work, rather than being a useful receptacle, is decorated with hooks.

Michiko Kon was born in Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture. She graduated from Sokei Art School in 1978 and then studied photography at the Tokyo Photographic College until 1980. In 1991 she was the recipient of the KIMURA Ihee Photography Award.

Excerpt from The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.293.

Place of origin
Japan: Heisei period 1989–
gelatin silver photograph
52.3 x 41.0 cm image; 61.1 x 50.5 cm sheet
Signature & date

Signed l.r. verso, pencil "Michiko Kon". Dated l.l. verso, pencil "1995".

Purchased 1995
Accession number
© KON Michiko