12 May 2022

Sayuri Ichida's Exhibition Opened at PhMuseum Lab

12 May 2022 - Written by PhMuseum

The Japanese artist presents for the first time in Europe her work Fumiko, a personal research rooted in her family history. Visit the show this weekend in the context of ArtCity Bologna, or until 22 July.

A visitor during the opening of Sayuri Ichida's show Fumiko © PhMuseum

A beautiful springtime day accopanied us yesterday in Bologna, Italy for the opening of our new exhibition Fumiko by Sayuri Ichida as part of ART CITY Bologna 2022 on the occasion of ARTEFIERA's 45 edition. The Japanese artist welcomed the visitors in first person, and introduced them to her project.

Her work originates from the discovery of a metal box of biscuits in the house of her grandparents. It is full of negatives and prints that show the life of her mother Fumiko, who passed away at age 47 from lung cancer. Ichida thus begins a research path through which she investigates the depths of her own trauma and reconstructs the memory of her mother. The exhibition flows between two rooms. One is dedicated to new and archival images, the other devoted to video. 

In the main room, the first two walls on the right-hand side are presenting archival images, screenshots from videos and photo collages created by Ichida that show positive moments in Fumiko’s past. Hanging on the left flank of the room are enlargements of 5 archival photographs that retrace in chronological order some key moments of Fumiko’s life such as wedding pictures, images of her pregnancy, or the birth of the artist. Finally, a wallpaper portraying an important location for the artist, two close-ups featuring a finger and the eye of Fumiko, and a letter that Ichida received from her mum are composing the frontal wall, which is metaphorically committed to Fumiko’s last moments.

Sayuri Ichida showing the exhibition to her sister during © PhMuseum

Next to the images, on each wall, you can find several framed mirrors. They serve as a way to include the spectator in Ichida’s narrative. They are meant to encourage a reflection on the difficult process of accepting loss, something that sooner or later we all experience.

In the projection room, an old TV is screening a compilation of videos coming from various VHS depicting Fumiko during the early years of Ichida’s life. They represent an important part of her research, which delves deep from her personal trauma to investigate the meaning of destiny, memory, and acceptance. By juxtaposing her family archive with her newly made images, Ichida is able to catch how ephemeral life is. Her work reminds us that sooner or later we will all be experiencing some kind of loss, and that probably what matters the most is how we keep alive a positive memory of the people we have lived with.

The project was selected among those presented to the PhMuseum 2021 Women Photographers Grant, whose 6th edition opens in September 2022. The show will stay on until 22 July, below you can find the special opening dates.

All images © PhMuseum


These are the special opening dates and times for ART CITY Bologna 2022 on the occasion of ARTEFIERA.

12 May from 3pm to 8pm

13 May from 3 to 8 pm

14 May from 3pm to 12pm

15 May from 3pm to 8pm


Where: PhMuseum Lab, Via Paolo Fabbri 10/2a, Bologna, Italy

Admission: Free

When: from 11 May until 22 July 

Opening Times: Friday 5 pm-8 pm | Monday-Thursday by appointment only


Sayuri Ichida is a Japanese photographer who lives and works in London. Her attention in her works is placed on the theme of identity, which reflects on her own memory and experiences. In addition to photography, her research implements sculptural forms created from both organic and non-organic elements that represent certain psychological states. Ichida won the Japan Photo Award in 2016 for her "Deja Vu" series. His "Mayu" series has been selected for several group exhibitions presented at Unseen Photo Festival (Amsterdam, 2018), Photo Saint Germain (Paris, 2018), IMA Gallery (Tokyo, 2018), and Asama International Photo Festival (Nagano, 2019).


PhMuseum Lab, founded in 2020, is a multi-purpose project that seeks to create a place to gather and learn, so as to share the online experience of the PhMuseum and stimulate a dialogue between digital opportunities and physical interactions. It pursues the same mission, which is that of working to discover, educate, and promote talented photographers whilst spreading visual culture. Follow PhMuseum Lab on Instagram.


The PhMuseum Women Photographers Grant aims to empower the work and careers of female and non-binary professionals of all ages and from all countries working in diverse areas of photography. Moving into its 6th edition, the next open call will open in September 2022.

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