Anima / Animus
Exhibition: – 30 Jan 2022
1-18-4 Ebisu Shibuya-ku
Sudo Ayano is a photographer who captures her subjects with a desire to transform that transcends gender. Her highly idealized images seem to fit in the space between shojo manga and photography. For her 2013 series Gespenster that centered around girls who went missing, Sudo won the Canon New Cosmos Photography competition. Her works continue to expand on this theme of going between imaginary worlds and reality. To commemorate the publishing of a limited-edition photobook printed by Canon’s Dream Lab, we would like to present her Anima/Animus series that was taken in the home of the late painter, Kaneko Kuniyoshi who passed away in 2015, up until it was torn down in 2019.
Sudo had harbored a strong feeling that she had to seek out Kaneko as some have often pointed similarities between their artistic worlds. However, he passed away before she had the opportunity to meet him. Impelled by the “cruel reality that the chance to meet him no long existed in this world” (quoted from art critic Sawaragi Noi’s contribution to Anima/Animus), she was able to realize this project with the cooperation of Kaneko’s family and other involved parties. The word ‘anima’ in the title of the photobook refers to the unconscious feminine nature in the male, and ‘animus’ refers to the unconscious masculine nature in the female. The closest translation in Japanese might be the word ‘soul.’ The fascinating figures drawn by Kaneko can be said to be the alter egos of his inner soul. We can see traces of how they might have taken form by looking at his home, layered with countless objects that he collected over half a century. Kaneko’s adoration and soul seem to emanate from each object, reaching out to those who visit like a beautiful ghost. Sudo anthropomorphizes that invisible anima and animus in her portraits. In this series, Anima/Animus, she has collected the glimmering shards of soul scattered in that beautiful deteriorating room. This exhibition will be held at the same time with MEM’s Ayano Sudo exhibition, Vita Machinicalis in the same building. While MEM’s exhibition on the third floor will explore the aesthetic space between the virtual and real, NADiff Gallery in the basement will present a contrasting exhibition that captures the beautiful existence between the world of death and unconsciousness, and the world of life and consciousness. We hope that you will enjoy Sudo’s new works in both of our exhibitions. We are planning artist talks and other events related to each exhibition.