December 15, 2017

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Noir by Mika Ninagawa


A solo exhibition by Mika Ninagawa, Noir, is on display until February 23 in the Art Gallery of the 8th floor of Hikarie, located in Shibuya, Tokyo. Entrance to the exhibit is free. Mika Ninagawa is one of the most popular photographers in Japan. Her fans are primarily women, but she is popular among young men as well. Ninagawa is known for her unique use of colors called Gokusaishiki, a Japanese word meaning “vivid colors.”

Her talents are not confined to the world of photography, as she directed two movies that were hits in Japan: Sakuran in 2007, and Helter Skelter in 2012. In both movies, she successfully depicted complex female psychology with her unique use of colors and brilliant composition. Some women say that her use of color eloquently describes their feelings, which cannot be put in words. Others say that her the strong colors bring out their deep passions and hidden desires. In Noir, Ninagawa combines dark shadows with the vivid colors that she has featured in her work for a long time.

Sakuran is a movie based on a comic with the same title written by Moyoko Anno. The leading character’s name is Sakuran, who is a distinguished prostitute in Yoshiwara, a government designated area where prostitution was allowed during the Edo era.

Another movie, Helter Skelter, is also based on a comic with the same title written by Kyoko Okazaki. Helter Skelter is a story about a Japanese entertainer who had plastic surgery done all over her body.

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Copyright of all images belongs to Mika Ninagawa.

Sakuran Trailer

Helter Skelter Trailer




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