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February 18th, 2009
Three artists in upcoming Texas State exhibit

STAFF REPORT

Three artists are scheduled to show their work under the theme, “What is it?” starting next month at the Texas State Gallery.

Alyson Fox of Austin, Mimi Kato of New Mexico and Misako Inaoka of San Francisco address issues of identity and culture with sculpture, drawings, paintings and photographs that artfully blur the lines between artistic studio practices. 

The exhibit is scheduled for March 10-April 7.

Kato often describes her work as a one-person theater. Yeah, The artist is the actor, performing the characters; the choreographer, orchestrating the movements and poses of the characters; the costume-designer, with her hand-sewn outfits; and, above all, the director, as she seamlessly orchestrates the pieces of the production within the two-dimensional space of her prints. 

Kato’s recent projects trace their origin to masks her parents owned during her childhood in Japan. These masks are not Noh or Kyogen masks, which have a long history in Japan, but, rather, are masks worn by common people for festivals and seasonal celebrations. Simple yet fragile, the masks are beautifully painted and handcrafted by an unknown entity who has been gone for a long time. Fairly old and mostly forgotten, these masks are now overshadowed by newer cheap plastic masks. Instead of letting them be wall decorations, Kato gives these masks tasks in her work. She wears them and plays rolls in her staged photographs to create unique narratives.

Kato, born in Nara, Japan in 1974, has lived and worked in the United States since 1998. She received an MFA from the University of Texas-San Antonio in 2006.  Kato’s recent exhibitions include Fox Wedding at the Ballina Art Center in Ballina, Ireland, Fotonoviembre in Canary Island, Spain, and Dance of Communication at the Dallas Center For Contemporary Art in Dallas. Kato spent the past year as a resident artist at the Roswell Artist in Residency Program in Roswell, NM.

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