[ISEA2008] Artist Statement: Momoyo Torimitsu – Smile :-), Wear It Like a Costume!

Artist Statement

The smile is probably the most powerful expression we have in our repertoire of facial gestures. It can be used to socially break the ice, to seduce and charm, and to indicate real and fake pleasure and enjoyment. Different professions can be said to have their own particular brand of ‘smile’ which is like a costume or work uniform; from corporate executives to nursery school teachers to exotic dancers. This artwork is an exploration of the subtle messages of compliance, attraction, persuasion and power that the smile sends out, and how our society interprets them. Collecting smiles from residents in Singapore, the artwork results in a gallery installation that involves the projection of ‘smiling patterns’, which the audience will be able to recognize and match with their own smiles.

Collaborating with NUS Face Group. The artist would like to thank Dawn Lee and Southaven Boutique; Starbuck’s (Bugis Junction); 3-Monkeys; Kumar; Hanna Meyer and Raffles Montessori Kindergarten; Concierge etc.; Mr. Bottle; Phill Tinn; Narajan Singh from Raffles Hotel; Linda Anne Thong and Bedok Methodist Church Kindergarten; Toru Nakai; Margaret Tan; Dawn Fung and City Harvest Education Centre (CHEC); Su En Ong; Nicolle Tan; and the many other professionals in Singapore she met through this project.

  • Momoyo Torimitsu (Japan/USA) is an artist who presents her work through installation, video, performance, photography and consumable materials. Her recent works have investigated and critiqued global corporate culture.     momoyotorimitsu.com