Bright red, deep blue, garish pink - the intense colors of Mika Ninagawa’s photographs make them unmistakable. Since the 1990s, they have become the trademark of the Japanese artist. Ninagawa has made a name for herself with her photos of flowers, goldfish, pop princesses, and models. At first glance, it seems as though the artist (born 1972) is celebrating the immaculate surfaces of consumer and mass culture. However, her impressions of cherry blossoms, captured in just three hours on the shore of the Meguro River in Tokyo, are visually quite different from her other work. Countless tender petals fall to the ground like snowflakes or are carried away by the river. This work, published in her limited edition book Plant a Tree, has a very poetic and fragile character and is linked to other, more personal work of Ninagawa Noir with which she has intended to show not only her own vulnerability but also the fragility of life and the encompassing proximity of death.
Ninagawa has been awarded the prestigious Kimura Ihei Photography Award in Japan. She is not only a photographer but also a movie director. Her retrospective solo exhibition in 2008 Mika Ninagawa: Earthly Flowers, Heavenly Colors toured the art museums throughout Japan with great success.