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Tokyo Story

Wallower Photomedia Gallery is located in Mildura at the intersection of three Australian states and at the gateway to the Australian outback. Wallower is a new addition to the lively cultural climate of Mildura which includes LEAP, Mildura Arts Centre, The Art Vault and the ve festivals which are coordinated through Arts Mildura. Wallower Photomedia Gallery is a unique space that encourages and exhibits experimental lens-based art, it is not a commercial establishment or government funded gallery. It is a not-for-prot organisation that is supported by Arts Mildura. Since a young age Tomoaki Makino has lived alone with his mother in the outer suburbs of Tokyo, unconsciously, observing her behavior, beliefs and tastes. Through this quiet observation, Makino became fascinated by his mother and her generation of friends. His publication, Tokyo Soap Opera, contains over 100 photographs that document the lives of these women and the public faces they present him within their own living quarters. The project reveals, not only their exterior world of hobbies, home dcor, and fashion, but also their hidden beauty and desires for self-expression. This exhibition features eight prints from this series, two books on the subject and a new publication project of American housewives. Tuomas A. Laitinens two channel video was recently made in Tokyo while on a residency. The work is heavily inuences by Yasunari Kawabatas 1961 novella House of the Sleeping Beauties in which an elder gentleman becomes obsessed with local brothels and sleeping next to virgins without touching them. Laitinen has translated this with juxtaposed imagery of a man sleeping on a train and abstracted material from dierent webcam sites that display young women sleeping for the camera. Conceptually the work is about dierent ways of putting one-self on display to the public and the need to look and be looked at. These works are connected, not only by the city of Tokyo, but also through an obsession and pursuit of beauty, both internally and externally, and how this can be obtained and sustained. The imagery made in both public and very private spaces are at once stunning, humorous and depressing, they connect to aspirations we all hold but not often express. In stark contrast to the minimal aesthetic of social and family interaction that the title of this exhibition pays homage to (Yasujiro Ozus seminal 1953 lm), these two projects are representative of our hyper-interactive social media saturated lifestyles where we can be anywhere and anyone at once. Tokyo Story runs until May 15th and is followed by a solo exhibition by local artist Heather Lee and Threshold Projects, curated by Siri Hayes and Michael Vale, in the video spaces. It features Timothy Casten, Takahiro Maeda, Eva McGowan, David Morris, Arend Opperwal, Mei Jun Zhao & Jasper Camens, Ruby Pilven and Jacqueline Shelton. This is exhibition will open on Friday May 18th and there will be a performance on that evening.

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