Star Doll (for Parkett No. 54)
(Japanese, born 1967)
1998. Multiple of doll, irreg. composition 10 1/4 x 3 1/8 x 1 9/16" (26 x 8 x 4 cm)
In Star Doll, Mori explores how images of women are presented through the media and through celebrity figures. Star Doll is an 11-inch-tall figurine that sports short pink hair, headphones, white go-go boots, and a plaid miniskirt. Mori based this character on her life-sized sculpture Birth of a Star (1995), an image in which she is dressed up as what she has called a “virtual pop star.” Imagined as a celebrity who lives in a cyber realm, the figure is a fantasy that reflects Japan’s obsession with technology. As Mori once said, the character is “someone who needs to be created.”1
Born in Tokyo, Mori studied fashion and worked as a model before attending art school in London. She returned to Tokyo and began to use her art as a way to comment on the roles of women in Japan: “I had been outside Japan long enough to have perspective on it. I was quite upset about how women are treated there compared to how women are doing in Western society. I felt like I had a voice and could create some kind of social critique.”2
Mori said, “When you wear clothes you become a personality, you become the clothes.”1
Mori often stars in her photographs and videos, taking on a number of roles such as a cyborg, video-game character, or Japanese Buddhist deity.