Mikiko Hara: Blind Letter
Mikiko Hara... Untitled (1998, C Print, Edition of 10). From the exhibition Mikiko Hara: Blind Letter, June 6 – July 21, 2007 at Cohen Amador Gallery. "...Though stylized along the lines of the, now, well established snapshot aesthetic that arose after the second World War, Hara’s photographs remain contemporary and fresh. They simultaneously present the non-threatening surface of things while keenly alluding to the underlying tensions that exist just below these superficial realities, unnerving us and often unnerving the subjects in the photographs. Unlike the often humorous sentimental stylings of earlier snapshot masters, Hara lets her subjects’ body language and expressions speak as much as their surroundings. In one image, girls at the beach look surprisingly sullen considering their location. The sky and sand, both baize, come to frame the pastels of their garb and heighten the discomfort in their faces. They could be fearing an unsure future or just as easily frowning from the discomfort of their now wet clothes, or - as Hara would have us believe - both."