Recommended, Signed

Mother River Homing


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Limited Editions of 900 / Signed&Numbered

This photobooks collects images from the trilogy series shadow puppet, bystander and on the way home.

During Mari Katayama’s exhibition leave-taking, the book will be on sale at a special price.

A photograph is (as if I knew what I’m talking about…) something really strange I think. I don’t believe a photograph because everything in it is a lie. The only thing that I believe is that there exists a certain “truth” between the subject and the photographer (or the person who set up the camera). Different from the intimacy of the needles and brushes that are close to me, the ”truth” is like the force of solitude that pushes two bodies away from each other so they can’t become one, no matter how hard they embrace each other. So what exactly is that “truth”? A photographic film is developed, and the picture is printed or stored as digital data. It appears to me that there is a reason for every aspect of the process – the camera, time, processing, and sometimes the necessity to involve other people. The more of these things there are, the stronger the “truth” gets. ”We were certainly there” – this is what I feel, and I think this inspired me to photograph my friends and make them “bystanders” in the form of photographs and other objects in my work.
– Afterword by Mari Katayama

238 x 178 mm
hardcover book with foil stamping slipcase
Publication Date
December 2021
Akio Nagasawa Publishing



Mari Katayama
b. 1987 Gunma, Japan

1987 born and raised in Gunma, Japan. 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. Her belief is that tracing herself connects with other people and her everyday life can be also connected with society and the world, just like the patchwork made with threads and a needle by stitching borders.

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. The motto of this project is to take advantage of any means including art and disabled bodies if it helps to expand the “freedom of choice” for those in desperate need.

Her major exhibitions include, "leave-taking" (Akio Nagasawa Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, 2021), "Home Again" (Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France, 2021), “58th Venice Biennale 2019” (Giardini and Arsenale, Venice, Italy), “Broken Heart” (White Rainbow, London, 2019), “Photographs of Innocence and of Experience-Contemporary Japanese Photography vol.14” (Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo, 2017), “On the way home” (The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, 2017), “Roppongi Crossing - My body, your voice” (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2016), “Aichi Triennale 2013” (Nayabashi, Aichi), etc. Public collections include La Maison Rouge (Paris, France), Collection Antoine de Galbert (Paris, France), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan), Arts Maebashi (Gunma, Japan) and Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan). She received the Encouraging Prize of Gunma Biennale for Young Artists in 2005, Grand Prix of Art Award Tokyo Marunouchi in 2012, Higashikawa Award for The New Photographer category in 2019 and Kimura Ihei Award in 2020. Her major publications include "Mother River Homing" (Akio Nagasawa Publishing, 2021) and "GIFT" (United Vagabonds, 2019).

Publications of Mari KATAYAMA