Lieko Shiga
Japanese, born 1980
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Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2016
In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11,
Japan Society
Intimate Curiosity—Invitation to Japanese Collectors of Contemporary Art,
Hong Kong Arts Centre
2015
Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015,
The Museum of Modern Art

Japanese photographer Lieko Shiga’s intimate portraits, set amidst mystical landscapes and interiors, integrate her personal experiences and grander mythologies into surreal and fantastic scenarios. “My photographs render everything into reality: they are a way of bringing something back to life,” she says. “You can talk about photographs in terms of ‘shooting’—to ‘shoot’ with a camera like you would shoot with a gun. However, for me, taking photos is not like shooting something: it’s like being shot. I am shot, and the entire timeline of my existence is resurrected in the photograph.” Shiga often places seemingly random objects alongside her human subjects, who strike inscrutable and sometimes anguished poses. She also introduces streaks of light and energy trails to the surface of her images, facilitating and revealing an even greater intrusion by the photographer.