Sayo Senoo – Miss Read

Sayo Senoo

Sayo Senoo is a contemporary Japanese artist, now living and working in France. She is working with atypical materials such as used condoms gleaned from outdoor cruising locations, contaminated air from the forbidden areas of Fukushima, or animal organs discarded by hunters in the Arctic. By transforming rubbish into delicate art works, she questions the nature of our disgust and fear against dirty things.

In 2010, she benefited from an atelier at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Her works have been exhibited in various galleries and cultural centres, including La Maison de la Culture du Japon (Paris in 2008) or Lagalerie (Paris in 2011). In 2019, she received the Paul-Louis Weiller Award from the Academy of Fine Art in Paris.

She started to make publications in 2019 to document her ephemeral works, and as a creative medium in itself. She prints and handcrafts all the publications herself.
Sayo Senoo, HA, Self publishing, 2022 © Sayo Senoo

2022. Series of 4 zines and a knife. Laser print on paper 70g/m². Hand bound by artist.19,5 x 14 cm. 50 copies.

This series of zines is made with photos that I found on my computer. The photos were taken between 2012 and 2014. At that time I was recovering from a serious illness. The interventions left me with severe pain and fatigue. All the energy I had left was used to eat.

As I ate, I felt a kind of sympathy for those who did not escape death and were torn to pieces to fit into my stomach. After I was cut and part of my organs removed, I knew that I too was made of flesh and that I was mortal. I believe the photos in this zine show my perspective of that time.

The images that are printed on the back of the pages are photos of napkins. In these drawings, those that we destroy with blades and our teeth and swallow, give us nice looks that have nothing to do with death. It's a vision of the world that is the opposite of the one I had at that time.

The title Ha means, in my mother tongue, Japanese, both the blade (刃) and the tooth (歯).

Bodies that shed tears
Sayo Senoo, Bodies that shed tears, Self publishing, 2022 © Sayo Senoo

21 x 13,3 cm.

20 pages. 100 copies.

Inkjet print on Novatech gloss 100g/m² and Clairefontaine GCP 250g/m². Handmade by artist.

This little book is made from my collection of photos downloaded from various sex related business websites in Japan. I worked in this kind of company to pay for my art studies. These jobs are mentally and physically heavy. But the high pay prevents most of us from quitting before our health is damaged.

The images are transformed through several processes using inkjet printers to make visible these physical and mental damages, the fatigues and the pains, that hide behind the seductive poses and smiles of the people in the photos.

The book is printed by the inkjet printer on an incompatible paper, so that the images are ephemeral and fragile like as our body.

Lands that shed tears
Sayo Senoo, Lands that shed tears, Self publishing, 2019 © Sayo Senoo

27,5 x 20 cm.

30 pages. 50 copies.

Pigmented inkjet print on various Awagami papier. Handmade by artist.

Represented on the shortlist for the National Gallery of Victoria’s « International Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing 2020 ».

This book is made from photos of the huge amount of debris that laid in the areas around Fukushima after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The tsunamis destroyed and turned these areas totally into debris. Then the nuclear accident contaminated them with radioactivity.

The images are downloaded from the internet and transformed by several processes using inkjet printers to make visible the radioactivity which was invisible in the original photos. I also aimed to make visible the fear and anger of the people against the Japanese government which decided to transport these debris all over the country to burn them, without taking enough safety precautions.