Poo-Chi.

Photographs by Mayumi Lake. Text by Joanna Frueh.
Nazraeli Press, Tucson, 2002. 32 pp., 16 four color illustrations, 7½x10".

The images in this book are not what they at first appear to be. Look again, and closely. Mayumi Lake's series of color photographs focuses on the wakinoshita, presenting this often neglected part of the body in a discomforting new light. Know what the true subject is, and while some unease might remain, any revulsion turns to curiosity, admiration and perhaps even delight. The wakinoshita Lake protrays with such intimacy and originality are shown in a wide array of 'poses';dressed with crochet, lace, embroidery, fake fur, these obviously adult bits of body take on a diverting, playful look. But underneath the soft and feminine drapes nestle the dark hairs and folds of flesh that give Lake's work a decidedly unsettling edge. As with all illusion, there is more here than meets the eye: the viewer is drawn time and again to take another, deeper look. Originally from Osaka, Mayumi Lake moved to the United States to study at The Shcool of the Art Institute of Chicago, and at Rhode Island School of Design. In 2000 she was awarded the Bruce Goodman Memorial Fellowship. Poo-chi opens with an introduction by Joanna Frueh.

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