in the water #001
2019 © Mari Katayama Courtesy of Akio Nagasawa Gallery


you're mine
in the water

Katayama, who had both of her legs amputated at the age of nine due to a congenital limb disorder, is known for her self-portraits, which document hand-sewn objects, installations, and three-dimensional objects that mimic parts of her own body. In this exhibition, Katayama shows past works like "you're mine" and "in the water", a series she created in 2019 using her legs as a motif. In recent years, she has begun to work abroad as well, having won the Kimura Ihei Award, one of the most prestigious awards for photography in Japan. Katayama's self-portraits convey her strength to accept and express herself as she is and show people a new sense of beauty and inspiration.


Artist. Born in Saitama Prefecture in 1987. Raised and lives in Gunma Prefecture. Katayama graduated with a Master's degree in Department of Intermedia Art at Tokyo University of the Arts in 2012. Suffering from congenital tibial hemimelia, Katayama had both legs amputated at the age of 9. Since then, she has created numerous self-portrait photography together with embroidered objects and decorated prostheses, using her own body as a living sculpture. In addition to her art creation, Katayama leads "High heel project" in which she wore customized high-heeled shoes specially made for prosthesis to perform on stage as a singer, model or keynote speaker.

Major exhibitions:
KYOTOGRAPHIE 2020, Kyoto, 2020
the 58th Venice Biennale, Giardini and Arsenale, Venice, 2019
Broken Heart, White Rainbow Gallery, London, 2019
Roppongi Crossing 2016: My Body, Your Voice, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2016
the Aichi Triennale 2013, Aichi Arts Center, Nagoya, 2013
Gift (Tokyo: United Vagabonds, 2019)
45th Kimura Ihei Prize, 2020
New Photographer category, Higashikawa Award, 2019