• MAR 22 to MAY 12
    Solo Exhibition
    Lieko Shiga - Canary


    • Solo Exhibition
    • Emerging Artists

    Dates and Opening hours

    MAR 22 to MAY 12, 2013

    Event Location


    Keizersgracht 609

    View website



    Foam presents the Canary series by Japanese photographer Lieko Shiga (1980). In her work, Shiga combines local myths with stories of ordinary people and their personal memories, feelings and experiences. She thus creates fantastical and often dramatic images that make reference to the twilight area between dream and reality. Her often-dark work is deeply rooted in the Japanese folkloric tradition and the supernatural as a self-evident presence. Shiga is part of a new generation of Japanese photographers. Her photos are characterised by a distinctive use of light and colour and a powerful visual language based on her own fantasy.

    Canary consists of about 50 works in various formats. In addition to photos, a film will be shown with the same title, and the images accompanied by a stirring audio track (composed by Yuta Segawa). The works in the series were shot in Brisbane (Australia), Singapore and northern Japan. In order to establish contact with local people in these areas, Shiga formulated a list, and asked questions about specific places, personal experiences and anecdotes. Her contact with the people and the places they referred to served as the starting point for the series. Ultimately, however, the photos mainly reflect the fantasy world of the artist.

    In her first meeting with a person or a place, or even before, Shiga visualises the definitive image she is going to create - it is as if she steps beyond herself and her body and finds herself in another existential state. The title of the series is based on this state of mind: 'The body is simply a medium, I kept a canary inside my stomach.'

    In most cases, the photos are deliberately staged, such as Wedding Veil, for which Shiga decorated a bare tree with thousands of paper blossoms or the surrealistic My Husband. For this intriguing image she created a huge animal skull, and posed alongside it. The series also contains several purely recorded images, such as Man Wearing Fur, for which she travelled to the mountains of northern Japan with a group of bear hunters.

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