Born in Switzerland to an Italian mother and a German father, Mario A has lived and photographed in Japan for the past 20 years. Personal identity is a continuous point of inquiry — he feels the "burden" of his Italian and German heritage (which nourished Fascism), while desiring to move forward and embrace the present and future. 

In love with Japanese aesthetics and obsessed with the perfection of surfaces, this series of work, taken over the period of a full year, is a meditation on the formal beauty of women, especially Japanese women. Seeing this apparently passive, artificial, painted beauty, designed for fantasy and pleasure is at once disturbing and thought-provoking, questioning various societies' expectations and images of women. 

"I always wanted to create a Japanese woman doll which I can look at in 'the night porter' picturesque way," says Mario A. "I wanted the work to address dualities like attraction-repulsion, reality-unreality, and hypertrophied feminity-icon fixation." 


ma poupée japonaise
by Mario A
Publisher: Konkursbuchverlag (1 Jan 2001)
German text

In a 5-minute audio interview for LensCulture, Mario talks more about his background and his work.