mama love ©Hideka Tonomura
mama 恋 love
Hideka Tonomura mama love (Photographed 2007 / Published 2008 AKAAKA Art Publishing inc, 2021 Zen Foto Gallery)
“We’re both liars, you and me.
I don’t mind how others view the things I happened to capture.
Hate, betrayal, the photographs tell you it’s all love in the end.
Being alive itself is a tragicomedy.
I do nothing but photograph what I have to photograph.”
I see absurdity in my mother’s eyes.
If loving means to lose one’s self,
Then this irresistible world is full of absurdity.
If there is life,
resisting is all that we can do.
And the only drive to resist is love.
They called me Yukari ©Hideka Tonomura
They called me Yukari
Hideka TonomuraThey called me Yukari (Photographed 2007-2009 / Publicized 2012 / Photobook Published 2013 Zen Foto Gallery)
ShinjukuPatches of blood, bare genitaliaA sliver of darkness that’s not meant to be seen.
They called me Yukari.
“How we make a living?
Sell our hearts, piece by piece by piece.”--- Hideka Tonomura
Hideka Tonomura worked for several years as a hostess in a Shinjuku Bar. This work draws on her life in twoworlds - one inside and the other outside this bar. Inside is a vivid fantasy world where only fake emotions areshown. The fakery is stripped in the outside world, leaving it desolate and barren. Emotion is scarcelyencountered, but when found it is both precious and poignant. Photography book They called me Yukari waspublished by Zen Foto Gallery in 2013.
orange elephant ©Hideka Tonomura
Hideka Tonomuraorange elephant (Photographed 2012-2015 / Published 2015 Zen Foto Gallery)
"I have been waiting.For a beautiful tomorrow" -
Hideka TonomuraPublished by Zen Foto Gallery in 2015, orange elephant marks the most recent publication by the Tokyo basedphotographer since her debut photobook mama 恋 love (2008) and the subsequent They called me Yukari(2013). Within Tonomura's images portray the intimacies found within love, delicately expressing the fragilities ofindividual emotions and occurrences. Here love, and the many binaries of illusions and disillusions, happinessand depression and lastly hope are all expressed revealing the very intimacies and multiplicities which define lifeand its experiences within Tonomura's orange elephant.
Cheki ©Hideka Tonomura
Hideka Tonomura Cheki good girl/bad girl (2016~/Published 2018 Morel books UK)
Love doesn't go into a coffin.
It only burns into nothing.
If the Earth exists,
Things will remain.
Despair for me.Hopes for you.
---- Hideka Tonomura
die of love ©Hideka Tonomura
die of love
Hideka Tonomura Die of Love (Published 2018 Zen Foto Gallery)
Her latest work “die of love” is a love story woven by all the happiness, sadness, difficultiesand ridiculousness in life - which can be considered as Tonomura’s own “theatre of love.
Love has no form
If love has a form,
let it be a photograph in the very end
It’s nothing but paper
-Life itself is ridiculous, after all
Ah, a tragicomedy, it is
— Hideka Tonomura, "die of love"
SHINING WOMAN #cancerbeauty ©Hideka Tonomura
SHINING WOMAN #cancerbeauty
Hideka Tonomura SHINING WOMAN #cancerbeauty (Published 2020 ) Zen Foto Gallery
Artist Statement for
"SHINING WOMAN #cancerbeauty"
For women, losing their womb, ovaries, breasts, and hair is extremely depressing.
Feelings of despair and madness.
Young women who dream of giving birth.
Women who are receiving infertility treatment.
Due to their cancer, they are not only losing their uterus, ovaries, and breasts but are also simultaneously losing their dream of having their own child.
The fear of losing their female organs brings a premonition of death to their femininity.
It feels like hell for them to accept such fears.
Nevertheless, women still put on lipstick, nice clothes, and wigs, and head out to their battlefield—the outside world.
Verbal abuse and prejudice.
Unawareness can be truly horrifying.
Disappointed in myself for hating people who use mean words,
while I myself may unconsciously have used mean words as well.
It can happen to me as a woman, and to men, to their loved ones.
I want to change how people perceive female cancers and cancer patients.
I want the world to become a place where women can live more comfortably so that they can continue to treasure their everyday life and feel free to go outside, without having to experience any verbal abuse just because they have lost their breasts, wombs, ovaries, and hair.
Femininity is not determined by one’s body parts. Everything is a testament to choosing to live.
Women can always turn despair into strength and continue to let their beauty shine out.
The true meaning of shining lies in the power with which we fight for our lives.
Women who dream to see their children grow up.
Women who dream to become an adult and fall in love.
Life is beautiful.
The essence of life is always beautiful.
All women are shining.
Life is beautiful.
I am the only one who can deal with my own reality
And I am the one who performs the best photographic act towards my own reality
While I am bound by the reality I will unravel it
There is no point in living a hundred years
I am made of spirit and flesh
I remain in the photograph
People eat under the ethics
Sometimes photography eats the taboos
And love desires for it
Love has no ethics
When love takes over
Photography becomes toxic
— Hideka Tonomura, "TOXIC"