The New Yorker
May 01, 2006
Sawada, from Kobe, Japan, is almost thirty, but she has no trouble passing as a schoolgirl. Half of the computer-manipulated color photographs in her new show are formal class portraits of up to forty uniformed girls, each one of whom is a variation on the moon-faced Sawada. The photographer also plays all the matronly schoolteachers and, across the gallery, a host of other young girls in the clownish makeup and artificial tans popular with Japan’s style-obsessed teens. Sawada’s shifts of identity may not resonate here as acutely as Cindy Sherman’s or Nikki S. Lee’s, but she tweaks stereotypes with the best of them.