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Mimi Kato (San Antonio, TX), Scene 2: Partially Cloudy, Precipitation 30% [detail], 2009/2010.
From the series One Ordinary Day of an Ordinary Town
San Antonio, Texas / Nara, Japan
One Ordinary Day of an Ordinary Town is a contemporary interpretations of subjects and formats from Japanese historical art. Traditionally seasons, nature and landscapes crowded with people have been depicted in various historical periods reflecting the styles and stories of each era. In my version, I select landscapes from my childhood, drawing them from memory to create a hybrid landscape where familiar narratives are played out.
The narratives in the landscapes are based on stereotypes, exaggerated realities and the conditions of the lives of people in typical old suburban towns. Here basic human emotions intersect to form a somewhat ill fitted society and reality. Each scene is an extract of typical daily routines, accidents and mishaps, and summaries of common news stories from various Japanese newspapers.
Theatrical performances, especially Japanese comedy theater Kyogen and the contemporary Butoh style, influenced the poses and gestures of the characters. Reference to theater also comes from the process. I play the roll of each character, sew the costumes, create props and direct the narratives. Because of this process, I refer to my work as one-person theater.
Mimi Kato, born in Nara, Japan, has lived and worked in the US since 1998. Kato received her MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2006 and her BA from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, in 2002. Kato has exhibited her work at Artpace, San Antonio, TX; the Roswell Museum of Art, Roswell, NM; the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI; the Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX; and the Ballina Art Center, Ballina, Ireland. Kato was also chosen as one of the artists to represent San Antonio in the International Photo Festival, Foto Noviembre, in Canary Islands, Spain in 2007. Kato was an artist in residence at various programs such as the Roswell Artist in Residency Program in Roswell, New Mexico in 2008, Albion College in Albion, Michigan in 2009, and the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, in 2010.