Week 3 – Constructed Realities

Photographer and video artist Miwa Yanagi is known for staging elaborate shoots while her work focuses on stereotypes of Japanese women in contemporary society. Elevator Girl is one of her best known projects and depicts the female staff that operate the elevators in department stores. I don’t think I would go to this level of staging images but I find her work fascinating, especially the use of perspective.

Miwa Yanagi – Elevator Girls House B1

My constructed images can be to convey an idea from various bits and pieces assembled into a composite image such as the below. The allegory is the war in Bosnia was a descent into hell using work from Bronzino and Scheffer with the woman feeding the monkey alluding to the peace negotiations. I find Renaissance period art fascinating, especially its use of allegory and symbology, so this is a theme I return to in my work.

I rarely, if ever, leave an image as taken, I just have it in mind it needs to look a certain way to be able to reflect my intent. As Franz Kafka said ‘One photographs things in order to get them out of one’s mind’ (Janouch 2012, p. 18). Sometimes in color or as often as not in black and white.


In this composite, iconography of Hieronymous Bosch alludes to ‘into the light’, while in reality this factory pig farm is the last place that sees light.

Pigs in Paradise


JANOUCH, Gustav. 2012. Conversations with Kafka (Second Edition). New Directions Publishing.

‘Miwa YANAGI やなぎみわ’. 2000. (c) 2000 Miwa Yanagi. All Rights Reserved. [online]. Available at: http://www.yanagimiwa.net/elevator/index.html [accessed 10 Feb 2021].

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