Mari Katayama is born in Saitama, Japan in 1987 and raised in Gunma. She graduated from the Gunma Prefectural Women’s University, before obtaining her MFA from the Tokyo University of the Arts in 2012. Gift is a retrospective of her past works and evolution as an artist. It was published concurrently with Katayama’s first solo exhibition in Europe, at the White Rainbow Gallery (London) between 24 January – 2 March 2019.
Gift is on the shortlist of the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards 2019 in the category “PhotoBook of the Year”.
Suffering from congenital tibial hemimelia, Katayama had both legs amputated at age of 9. Since then, she has created numerous self-portrait photography together with embroidered objects and decorated prosthesis, using her own body as a living sculpture. Her belief is that tracing herself connects with other people and her everyday life can be also connected with the society and the world, just like the patchwork made with threads and a needle by stitching borders.
In addition to her art creation, Katayama leads “High heel project” in which she wore customized high-heeled shoes specially made for prosthesis to perform on stage as a singer, model, or keynote speaker. The motto of this project is to take advantage of any means including art and disabled body if it helps to expand the “freedom of choice” for those in desperate need.
Mari Katayama Website