Mikiko Hara – Small Myths


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Throughout the work, Hara photographs portraits. Some of these images are culled from her familiar everyday journeys, with images of people on the street or in trains elegantly abetting the images of her family. Though far from a family book in the traditional sense, the text mentioned above that I mentioned shades the work in a way that explains Hara’s interest in making images of people, notably through the shadow of her husband’s death at an early age from cancer. The book’s focus is the people crossing the artist’s path. Low camera angles and sideways glancing at people in direct proximity make the work feel less forced, almost as if caught in conversation, even when the sitters look directly into the camera. There is a sense of life, and in this, particularly the images of a direct nature is an intimacy possibly formed from the burden of loss. Indeed, the images of family members and children amplify this motivation. When I suggest this, it is not necessarily that intimacy was an intention, nor that loss was part of the exchange when the photos were made. I am hinting that in retrospect and in editing the archive for the prospects of a book, it is possible that the artist’s life experience informed deeply her choice of which images to cull for the project. As we are but aggregated to our personal experiences, one can sense this oscillation between eulogy (loss) and celebration (intimacy) running throughout the book. I might have a slightly different interpretation if the text was not in the book. Still, given that it is intended to shadow the work, I conclude that the artist would understand the apparent correlation between those carefully selected words and her pictures of people. – Brad Feuerhelm


Mikiko Hara

Small Myths

Chose Commune



Original Specification and Press Release


Mikiko Hara has her own way of secretly capturing the strangers who cross her path: a young man on the train, a couple holding hands, a little girl playing in a park… Sometimes their eyes meet briefly as she presses the shutter, but Mikiko Hara does not exchange with her subjects. Yet, these portraits reveal something infinitely personal, as if the photographer and her subjects were bound by an invisible pact: being in the right place at the right time.

Mikiko Hara’s approach, firmly rooted in a documentation of every- day life, extends in the intimacy of her living space: cut flowers in the sink, a strawberry shortcake in the fridge, her three sons dozing on the floor. The eye of the photographer, who is also a mother and wife, moves back and forth from the outside to the inside, from the public to the private sphere. Wherever she is, Mikiko Hara observes and tells stories like fragments of life.

At the initiative of the publisher – who made the selection in collaboration with the artist – these unpublished photographs from 1996 to 2021 have been assembled in this book, entitled Small Myths.



Photographs and text: Mikiko Hara
Editorial direction: Cécile Poimboeuf-Koizumi
Design: Bureau Kayser
French / English / Japanese
23 x 27 cm
104 pages
ISBN: 979-10-96383-34-4

Posted in Contemporary Photography, Japan, Other, Photobook, Photography - All, Tokyo and tagged , , , , , , , , , .