Lieko Shiga, ‘Full Tide, from the series "Canary"’, 2007, PRISKA PASQUER

In her work, Shiga combines local myths with stories of ordinary people and their personal memories, feelings and experiences. She thus creates fantastical and often dramatic images that make reference to the twilight area between dream and reality. Her often-dark work is deeply rooted in the Japanese folkloric tradition and the supernatural as a self-evident presence. Shiga is part of a new generation of Japanese photographers. Her photos are characterised by a distinctive use of light and colour and a powerful visual language based on her own fantasy.

Series: "Canary"

Lieko Shiga: Canary. Akaaka, Tokyo, 2007

The artist

About Lieko Shiga

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.

Japanese, b. 1980, Aiki Prefecture, Japan