Kirico 「school goods」

Kirico 「school goods」

Sat. Mar 6, 2021 - Fri. Apr 9, 2021

Gallery Yamaki Fine Art is proud to present the second solo exhibition of Kirico from Saturday 6th March to Friday 9th April, 2021.

Born in Kyoto in 1978, Kirico is a photographer and artist currently based in Kobe, Japan. She was selected in the 32nd Canon New Cosmos of Photography Competition (Nobuyoshi Araki), received the Mio Photo Encouragement Award in 2010, and won the 2015 London International Creative Competition (LICC). By documenting her loved ones via photographs and videos, Kirico has depicted womanhood in light of her own personal relationships. In recent years, her experience of giving birth and becoming a mother has given her a vastly new perspective.

Her new body of work, ‘school goods’, explores the artist’s discomfort upon encountering the tradition of handmade school supplies. The series consists of embroideries and plaster casts of school items to reconsider the deep-seated meanings of ‘mother’ and ‘motherhood’ in Japanese society.

When Kirico’s child became old enough to enter kindergarten, detailed instructions were distributed for parents to prepare kindergarten goods – all of which had to be “handmade” in particular sizes and details specific to the kindergarten. For Kirico, who did not even own a sewing machine, she felt uneasy to be told that this was a mother’s natural duty.

Despite changes in gender roles and perceptions of child-rearing in Japanese society, mothers in Japan are still expected to make handmade lesson bags and drawstring pouches. This tradition has endured for over 50 years, and the shape and design of the bags have remained largely unchanged.

By collecting these handmade items and preserving their imprints in sculptural forms, Kirico transforms them into artworks worthy of appraisal, as well as monumentalizing the unsung legacy of over 50 years of women’s work. The shape of these items, which have been passed down through generations, embodies the enduring yet intangible ideal of a ‘mother’ in Japanese society. Through contextualizing handmade school goods as art, Kirico underscores the expectations of motherhood through her own experience as a mother.

This exhibition consists of ten plaster works, five embroidery works, and five collage works. We look forward to your visit.


Press Release



(Left)Relief (Slipper case 1980)(2021) 507 x 418 x 55 mm Plaster, frame.

(Center)Relief (Cup Case 2000) (2021) 250 x 200 x 55 mm Plaster, frame.

(Right)Relief (Lesson Bag 1981) (2021) 418 x 507 x 55 mm Plaster, frame.