“On the first pages of the book, I am swimming, or rather floating, like an insect, with two large styrofoam balls made by my father attached to my back. In this footage of my father’s experiment I am shouting, “freedom, freedom, freedom,” as my father’s camera follows me from behind …
What exactly is expression? I don’t care how many hundreds of times I am embarrassed on stage, or whether I continue taking pictures until I die, or if I keep holding exhibitions for half a century. What I can say is that expression can only exist under freedom.”
— from Hanayo’s afterword
“Hanayo’s Underworld: Half a Century” is a look back as well as a celebration of Hanayo’s many artistic activities. Born in 1970 and based in Tokyo, Berlin and London, Hanayo has been active as an artist, photographer, geisha, musician and model, and has shared her work in many different genres and media, from installations to photographic exhibitions, stage performances, music and video. Through her artistic works, photographs, documents, letters, writings, newspapers, interviews, notes and images, “Hanayo’s Underworld: Half a Century” traces the past 50 years in Hanayo’s life, offering the full picture of this transformative, innovative artist whose work has wandered the lines between dream and reality.