• Naoko Mikami


Updated: May 4, 2020

Fuh-mi(不美), born in 1970, has studied calligraphy, poetry and ikebana (Japanese floral art) since childhood. She describes her style as “anti-conventional", and considers very important the process of selecting different types of supports in order to take calligraphy out of its traditional setting.

In her series Pure Portrait Project, she proposed a study on the honne/tatemae duality, which governs all social relations in Japan. Tatemae stands for what each person is forced to say or think according to his/her position in the society or work environment, and according to that of the interlocutor. Honne, by contrast, is what each person really thinks, intimately.

In most cases, people's position in the hierarchy does not allow them to express their honne out loud. Pure Portrait Project presents a series of photographs of Japanese workers on which is brushed a word: their portrait symbolises the mask of tatemae while the character painted over reveals their honne.

#Calligraphy #Japaneseartist

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