Kumi Oguro, born in Japan in 1972, started her study of photography in London in 1996, followed by further development at Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten (Royal Academy of Fine Arts) in Antwerp until 2003. She also experimented with video and installation in a postgraduate program, Transmedia in Brussels. Her research theme in the program was ‘Photographic film and Filmic photography’, in other words, the relation between still and moving image. This subject is also treated later on in her thesis for the master course, Filmstudies en Beeldcultuur (Film studies and Image Culture) at the University Antwerp in 2006, with the title ‘About the “filmic” in photography’. After these studies, she has concentrated again on the development of her photographic work.
Oguro is intrigued by the images of our dreams just before awakening: it is difficult to find the logic there, there is nothing to indicate time, the space is indeterminate. In her work, she tries to create an atmosphere that is quite close to those dream images. The faces of the models are hidden. It is not clear whether we see a frozen moment of what was going on (whatever it is) or rather if they are waiting to be awakened from a long, long sleep. It is important for Oguro to keep this ambiguity. These anonymous women are balancing on a thin line between the childlike and the sensual, the fragile and the destructive, the tragic and the playful.
In recent years, Oguro has participated in exhibitions in Belgium and also in Denmark, Finland, Portugal, Germany, The Netherlands, France and Japan. Her first book NOISE was published from Le caillou bleu (Brussels) in 2008. She has lived and worked in Antwerp since 1999.