Following earlier photobooks (“They Called Me Yukari”, “Mama Love”) in which Hideka Tonomura processed the seedier sides of life, her new work “die of Love” can be considered as her own “theatre of love” - a love story woven by happiness, sadness, difficulties and ridiculousness. Printed in thick, rich colors on fine, almost vulnerably thin paper, Tonomura’s images build towards an impression of the wavering between hope and despair in life.

“Love has no form
If love has a form,
let it be a photograph in the very end
It’s nothing but paper
Just laugh -
Life itself is ridiculous, after all

Ah, a tragicomedy, it is”

— Hideka Tonomura, "die of love"

Artist Profile

Hideka TONOMURA

Born in 1979, in Kobe, Hyogo prefecture, Hideka Tonomura graduated from the Broadcasting and Filmmaking Department of Osaka Visual Arts School and began photography in 2002. She published her first photobook “mama love” in 2008 with Akaaka Art Publishing, revealing her deepest pain and the dark, hidden secrets of her family, leaving an unforgettable impression. In 2013 she published “They called me Yukari” with Zen Foto Gallery, in which she documented the life and people around her when she was working as a hostess in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. Actively presenting her work in and out of Japan, her recent publications include “orange elephant” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2015), “cheki” (Morel Books, 2018), and “die of love” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2018). Having experienced cancer diagnosis and treatment herself in 2019, Hideka started the “Shining Woman Project”—a portrait project dedicated to women who fight cancer. A publication on the project is scheduled to be released near the end of 2020. Her series “mama love” will be exhibited at Maison Européenne de la Photographie in 2021.

Gallery Exhibitions