Related themes

Intersecting Identities

Artists often address their multiple, intersecting identities in a work of art.

Star Doll (for Parkett no. 54)

Mariko Mori
(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

Dominic Molon, Mariko Mori, Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art, 1998, p. 3
Ingrid Sischy, “The Space Cadet,” New York Times, August 27, 2006. Available online .

A three-dimensional work of art made by a variety of means, including carving wood, chiseling stone, casting or welding metal, molding clay or wax, or assembling materials.

A representation of a human or animal form in a work of art.

1. A detailed three-dimensional representation, usually built to scale, of another, often larger, object. In architecture, a three-dimensional representation of a concept or design for a building; 2. A person who poses for an artist.

Fashion Forward
Mori said, “When you wear clothes you become a personality, you become the clothes.”1

Role Play
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.