/23 Japan

Asako Narahashi


The nue in Japan is a traditional, mysterious creature. It’s a fictitious animal with a monkey’s head, the body of a racoon, the paws of a tiger and the tail of a snake. Nobody has ever seen it because it’s a figment of the imagination. This is the reason why the word “nue-like” in Japanese is used to talk about someone or something unidentifiable.

In the 90s I made a series of exhibitions whose title was NU-E.

On 17 different occasions, I have presented new shots each time. I displayed almost 10 times more shots than the ones contained in my collection of photographs, NU-E. Some people considered my work nue-like, so I decided to carry the concept of this word to its limits. I shot and displayed them before knowing what really nue was. I wanted to see what can’t be seen.

I believe my journey discovering the “nue” is not over yet.