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Miko no Inori

The Japanese Mariko Mori is an artist that studied at the Bunka fashion College in Tokyo, and used to be a fashion model in the late 80s before stepping into the art scene. 
Most of Mori’s work is known for including a central element: herself.

With experience as a fashion model in her past, being in her own artworks isn’t something unusual for the artist. When in an interview the question came about herself featuring in her artworks, she answered:
“That originates from when I was a fashion model, at around age sixteen. Often I designed my own cloths and made them myself (I studied at a fashion college) and I asked a photographer to take a photograph of myself wearing the cloths that I made. Some way my work is the extension of those experiences. Further back into my childhood, my father loved to take photographs of me. When I was nine I made my own costumes for a school play and I experienced becoming different characters. I loved to document myself as different images and I think my work evolved after this favorite activity.” [1]

As the clip of the video installation Miko no Inori shows, the artist is again featured as the main element in the work. Here she plays a Cyber-fairy with a glass sphere in her hands. [2] Wearing a costume of her own design, she plays around with a glass globe, hypnotizing the audience with her magic eyes, pulling them into her world, entranced by spellbinding music and vocals in the background.

As in Nirvana, her well-known use of tomorrow’s technology and ageless spiritual imagery is equally evident in Miko no Inori. The spiritual element can first of all be seen in the title of the artwork: Miko no Inori, which can be translated as “Miko’s prayer”. Can we therefore assume that Mori’s character in this work, the Cyber-fairy, is called Miko? Maybe the person that can be heard singing is called Miko, and the Cyber-fairy is a just an image in her mind, prayer or dream? (As I like to see it) This is of course up to people’s own interpretation. And then again, next to that Miko is a Japanese name, it can also mean Priestess, Medium or even sorceress. Therefore this art work can have many meanings and looked at in different ways. You can see Mori’s character as a Cyber-fairy (as the fan-site does) in someones imagination, a priestess, but you can also see her as a sorceress of the future, playing with her magic.    

The mixture of technological and spiritual elements identified above is visible in the art work itself: Mori’s character is an ageless, almost spiritual image with her glowing eyes and the spellbinding music playing. But her outfit and surroundings give a more technological look and atmosphere. It is a mixture of two worlds, clashing with each other, creating one person, who pulls you slowly into her world.

This artwork can also be related to Mori’s Last Departure, in which she plays the same character. 





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