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Arts

Review: Kato brings sparkling work to Good Citizen

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 22, 2011 - "partly cloudy with a chance of showers" is a delightful, mesmerizing, epic narrative told across space and time.

Artist Mimi Kato performs her "one person theater" by donning countless costumes and assuming numerous roles. She photographs herself and grafts the images onto graphic illustrations of a Japanese streetscape, resulting in a bewildering series of micro-morasses involving arguments, collisions, conversations, plots and traps, both mundane and mysterious.

Kato is enacting a one-person form of Kyogen comedy in the Butoh style ... her expressions are exaggerated and her costumes are consciously artificial. The entire work, which consists of 12 panels (separated by seasons), is visually scintillating and utterly ebullient.

Like so much recent Japanese art, it's pristine and sparkling, flat and dimensional at once. Poised between the improbable and the all-too-familiar, Kato's scenarios involve us irresistibly in their joyous, convoluted world.

Ivy Cooper, a professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is the Beacon art critic.

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