AWARE : Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions


AWARE : Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions

Yuki Onodera
Japanese photographer.

After graduating from the Fashion Design Department of the Kuwasawa Design School in Tokyo, Yuki Onodera began teaching herself photography, which went on to become her main medium of expression. When she won the 1st New Cosmos of Photography Award by Canon Inc. in 1991, her works were praised for their “value as enigma”. Although her photographs have often been considered unrealistic, enigmatic and obscure, what is even more important in her photographic explorations on multiple levels is a certain “physicality” that photography can transform and reconfigure, generating textures and impressions of objects, rather than the bizarre act of mixing up and inserting different contexts from a variety of original, varied objects, similar to the Surrealist method of dépaysement(disorientation).

When Y. Onodera moved to Paris in 1993, the solo exhibition of Christian Boltanski (1944–2021), Dispersion, was being held at Quai de la Gare, Paris. In the work from which the exhibition borrowed its title, Boltanski had piled up a large quantity of partially torn second-hand clothes as a monument to the Holocaust. When Y. Onodera went to see the work, she carried a bag to take away many of these clothes, thereby giving birth to her renowned work, Portrait of Second-hand Clothes (1994). This series of works is composed of second-hand clothes that seem to stand in front with the sky and floating clouds behind them. The grey tone covering the whole picture presents a sharp contrast between the front and back, evoking the presence of the person who is supposed to be wearing these clothes. In the front, the clear, tactile texture of the fabric evokes both the absence and presence of the person, while at the back, the blurred image and distant sky alludes to the majestic flow of time that extends beyond that person, or the immeasurable sense of time accumulated on that individual’s shoulders. As the artist remarked, the timing of the shooting for each piece required her to wait until she felt as if a figure had evaporated into the air. This process seeks to revitalise each person from these mass piles, as well as to use photography as an apparatus to evoke the textures of memory, even if unbeknownst to the viewer.

Combining different kinds of physicality into a picture is possible only if we know the image of the textures of things captured in photography: as Roland Barthes said, a photograph essentially points to and repeats something that “has been”, which comes across differently, as a “failure,” rather than depicting something as it seems. Y. Onodera continues to apply this methodology to many series. In How to Make a Pearl (2000–2001), a glass marble installed in a camera creates shadows in photography, making it seem as if a strange white object is floating above people gathering in the darkness, while in Liquid, TV and Insect (2002), an image of an insect collected from a TV broadcast is juxtaposed with another of some spilled, paint-like liquid that resembles the shadow of the insect. In Transvest (2002–on going), a photomontage of existing images taken from magazines and newspapers is turned into a silhouette through stage-like backlighting. Eleventh Finger (2006–on going) depicts a person’s face covered and hidden by papers perforated in a lace pattern that seems to have been attached through the photogram process, creating another photographic layer from the scene that was shot. In Study for “Image à la sauvette” (2015–on going), acrylic paint on a printed photo that seems to spill out from distorted plastic bottles is combined in a photograph whose transparent but existing bodies are only recognizable through reflections of lights.

In addition to these creative distortions of how photography usually operates, achieved by inserting different kinds of physicality into a picture, the size of the printed image in Y. Onodera’s work fulfils an important function, regardless of whether it is small or large a point demonstrated by Muybridge’s Twist (2014–on going). Alluding to the English photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830–1904), who in the late 19th century captured the movements of running horses and walking people in serial photographs, Y. Onodera collaged various parts of human bodies and some of animals, creating an image in which a person seems to be dancing the twist. In a print on a larger scale than the human body, over 300 × 200 cm, the eerily blended parts create the impression of a twisted sculpture, rather than the sequential movements of a figure. When assembling images, she enlarges original images taken from fashion photos, and cuts and collages them in a similar size to the final product. The size of the outcome is significant in terms of how it imbues viewers with an overwhelming sense of power, as well as how another kind of physicality associated with photography affects the result in the process.

Y. Onodera continues to show new series in her recent solo shows, such as La clairvoyance du hasard in 2022 at Centre de la photographie de Mougins, France, and in the same year, Here, No Balloons at Ricoh Art Gallery, Tokyo. Her major solo exhibitions include Yuki Onodera, Décalages in 2015 at Maison Européenne de la photographie, Paris, Thousand Mirror in the Forest in 2014 at La Maison d’Art Bernard Anthonioz, Nogent-sur-Marne, Gravity-defying photography in 2011–2012 at Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône, Onodera Yuki: Into the Labyrinth of Photography in 2010 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, and Onodera Yuki in 2010 at The Museum of Photography, Seoul.
She received the Award of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Japan, and the 27th Grand Prix of the Higashikawa Prize in 2011. Y. Onodera also won the Prix Niépce in 2006 and the 28th Ihei Kimura Award in 2003.

Junya Utsumi

Translated from the Japanese by Darryl Jingwen Wee.

A biography produced as part of the “Women Artists in Japan: 19th – 21st century” programme.
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions, 2024


Vanguard画廊 二十周年特别呈现

Vanguard Gallery 20th Anniversary Special Presentation

Vanguard Gallery
20th Anniversary Special Presentation
Vanguard画廊 二十周年特别呈现

Curated by TAO Hanchen
策展人: 陶寒辰

Vanguard Onwards


在成立20周年之际,Vanguard画廊将于3月16日至4月19日举办特别展览“Vanguard Onwards”。此次参与展出的34位艺术家在画廊的发展历程中扮演了重要角色,有的更是陪伴画廊一路走至今日。“Vanguard Onwards”展出的既有艺术家代表性的创作,也有别具意义、饶有故事的作品,着意以友谊为纽带,呈现Vanguard画廊不断进取的立意和视野。

Vanguard画廊成立于2004年初,在中国经济急速发展的年代中,画廊不仅见证了蓬勃兴盛的中国当代艺术生态,更作为务实的经营者始终活跃在一线,积极挖掘与支持着中国当代艺术语境的参与者们。在这一过程中,无论是艺术家、收藏家、策展人、批评家、媒体人,还是更广泛的艺术爱好者和普通观众,无数同样对艺术抱有热忱的朋友们与我们结伴而行,Vanguard画廊希望借此机会感谢大家长期的慷慨帮扶与信任,也期待着未来与朋友们继续携手,在变化的环境中探索前行,Vanguard onwards。


“Vanguard Onwards”展期持续至2024年4月19日,随后Vanguard画廊将在本年度的展览计划中穿插举行多场艺术家讲座作为20周年特别展览的延续,我们诚邀各位密切关注Vanguard画廊的微信公众号,选择自己感兴趣的展览或活动,加入我们共同庆祝画廊的20周年生日。

Vanguard Gallery
20th Anniversary Special Presentation

Curated by TAO Hanchen

Vanguard Onwards
Artists: Antoni Muntadas, Jin Haofan, Zhu Changquan, Xiao Jiang, Liu Fei, Tang Chao, Aki Lumi, Yuki Onodera, Gabriel Lester, Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, Jiu Society, Fang Di, Peng Yun, Guo Xi, Frank WANG Yefeng, Yi Xin TONG, HSU Che-Yu, LAM Pok Yin, Liao Fei, Chen Xingye, Chu Bingchao, Gresham TAPIWA NYAUDE, SONG Yuanyuan, Bi Rongrong, Chen Tianzhuo, Ye Linghan, Double Fly Art Center, Zhang Lehua, Gao Mingyan, Li Ming, Lin Ke, Liu Bolin, Sun Xun, and Tang Dixing

Duration: 16 March to 19 April 2024
Venue: Vanguard Gallery, B1-8, 9 Qufu Road, Jing’an, Shanghai

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, Vanguard Gallery is delighted to present the special exhibition “Vanguard Onwards,” running from March 16th to April 19th. Featuring the works of 34 artists, some of whom have played significant roles in the gallery’s journey, while others have been longstanding companions, this exhibition is a testament to the enduring spirit and evolving vision of Vanguard Gallery.

Established in early 2004, amidst China’s rapid economic development, the gallery has not only witnessed the flourishing landscape of contemporary Chinese art but has also been actively engaged in nurturing and promoting participants in the Chinese contemporary art scene. Throughout this journey, whether artists, collectors, curators, critics, or broader art enthusiasts, countless friends who share a passion for art have accompanied us. Vanguard Gallery takes this opportunity to express gratitude for their enduring support and trust, and eagerly anticipates continuing this journey together, advancing Vanguard onwards in the face of changing times.

Spanning from Antoni Muntadas, born in 1942, to Tang Chao, born in 1990, the artists in this exhibition represent diverse generations and experiences, showcased through distinct mediums and forms. Their works, thoughtfully curated and juxtaposed, invite multiple interpretations, guiding viewers to revisit the connection between the exhibited pieces, the local context, and the present moment through the layered dimension of time.

“Vanguard Onwards” will be on view until April 19th, 2024. Following this, Vanguard Gallery will host a series of artist talks as part of the 20th-anniversary celebration. We warmly invite everyone to follow Vanguard Gallery’s programs on social media, and join us in celebrating the gallery’s 20th anniversary.


NOIR & BLANC: 摄影美学



17 oct. 2023 Until 21 jan. 2024

la BnF | François-Mitterrand

Galerie 2

Cette exposition rassemble des chefs-d’œuvre en noir et blanc issus des collections photographiques de la Bibliothèque nationale de France. Nadar, Man Ray, Ansel Adams, Willy Ronis, Helmut Newton, Diane Arbus, Mario Giacomelli, Robert Frank, William Klein, Daido Moriyama, Valérie Belin… : les grands noms de la photographie française et internationale sont réunis dans un parcours qui présente environ 300 tirages et embrasse 150 ans d’histoire de la photographie en noir et blanc, depuis ses origines au XIXe siècle jusqu’à la création contemporaine.


BnF | François-Mitterrand, Rue Emile Durkheim, Paris 75013.







a selection of photographs
the collection of Madeleine Millot-durrenberger

Berenice Abbott, John Armleder, Patrick Bailly-Maître-Grand, Laurent Cochet, Stéphane Couturier, Jean Daubas, Tom Drahos, Harold Edgerton, Christiane Geoffroy Stepan Grygar, Gabor Kerekes, Yuki Onodera, Jean Painlevé, Ian Paterson, Bernard Plossu, Rasi, François Sagnes, Pentti Sammallahti, Pierre Savatier, Josef Sudek, Masao Yamamoto

Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October 2023
Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October 2023

from 2 pm to 7 pm
guided tour at 6 pm

In Extremis

27 rue sainte Madeleine, 67000 Strasbourg.


HK_French May_exhibition views


DATE:12 MAY - 10 JUN 2023
wamono art


& New works - Chronophotography

This will be the first exhibition in Hong Kong by internationally renowned Japanese artist Yuki Onodera, who has been based in Paris for just three decades. Onodera is known for singular experimental works that employ photography as their medium, but extend beyond its bounds to encompass an astonishing variety of expression that includes collages measuring several metres, and the use of drip painting techniques.

Fri and Sat: 12nn – 6pm; Mon – Thu: By appointment

wamono art


Unit A, 10/F, Derrick Industrial Building

49 Wong Chuk Hang Road

Hong Kong

WhatsApp: + 852 6822 2962

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