Yasumasa Morimura, Egó Sympósion, 2016, Digital video, Duration: 75 minutes. © Yasumasa Morimura; Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

Yasumasa Morimura: Egó Sympósion

Fourth-Floor Gallery
Time Period
On view March 18, 2023

Over the past forty years, Japanese artist Yasumasa Morimura has explored constructions of identity and representation in his photography, film, and performance work. Through skilled use of makeup, costumes, props, and digital manipulation, Morimura transforms himself into renowned artists, iconic works of art, and influential historical figures, primarily from the Western canon.

One of the most celebrated contemporary photographers of the late 20th century, he has photographed himself in the guise of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665), a variety of famous works by artists such as Francisco Goya, Frida Kahlo, and Édouard Manet, and recognizable portraits of Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, and Mao Zedong, among others. These elaborately restaged pictures are at once an homage and a critique, and wryly confront complex issues concerning self and nationhood, cultural appropriation, celebrity, gender, and authorship.