Mika Ninagawa was born in 1972 in Tokyo, Japan. She is a multidisciplinary artist who works in photography and film. Ninagawa currently lives and works in Tokyo.
The appeal of her photography can best be summed up by a signature approach that is bathed in dreamlike vivid colors. Whether it is portraiture, landscape, or still life, at the heart of her work are themed looks that rotate between flora, fauna, landscapes, and empowered women to create Ninagawa’s lush tableaux. Ninagawa is one of Japan’s most celebrated photographers, where celebrities seek her portraiture, she is now breaking out in the West. She captures her ornately clad human subjects against baroque stylings that suggest a firm grasp of practical scenography, and the work achieves a calm, pictorial mastery. Portraits of local and international personalities, from Chiaki Kuriyama to Beyoncé, pepper her portfolio, and her distinct and vibrant aesthetic has been influential around the world. Lauded in Japan as an art photographer and film director, she is formally represented by Tomio Koyama’s influential art gallery.
Ninagawa received the prestigious Kimura Ihei Photography Award in 2001.
Ninagawa's 2007 critically acclaimed directorial debut, Sakuran was screened at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival and the 31st Hong Kong International Film Festival.
Her 2008 retrospective exhibition, Mika Ninagawa: Earthly Flowers, Heavenly Colors opened at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery and toured several museums throughout Japan attracting over 180,000 visitors.
In 2010, Rizzoli New York published her first international monograph, MIKA NINAGAWA.
Released in 2012, her second feature Helter Skelter was screened at the 56th London Film Festival and the 14th Taipei Film Festival. It was one of the highest-grossing film in Japan that year and was awarded the Kaneto Shindo Silver Prize.
Ninagawa’s 2016 solo exhibition at Taipei MOCA marked a new record for the museum with nearly 130,000 visitors.
Her 2017 solo exhibition at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, The days were beautiful included 60 photographs of her father, legendary theater director Yukio Ninagawa. The same year, MIKA NINAGAWA was her biggest retrospective in China held at Shanghai’s Lafayette Art & Design Center.
On September 30th and October 1st 2017, Ninagawa presented several art installations and directed the main live performance at the Roppongi Art Night in Tokyo.
In 2018-2021, her exhibition, MIKA NINAGAWA Into Fiction/Reality toured Japan in various prefectures and total visitors reached 340,000.
In 2019 Ninagawa released her new three movies: Diner, No Longer Human, in addition to her first original drama for Netflix, Followers.
In 2020, she published her photo book, TOKYO.
Her retrospective, MIKA NINAGAWA Into Fiction/Reality, opened in Beijing Times Musuem in Spring 2022.
At the same time in Tokyo, another exhibition Mika Ninagawa A Garden of Flickering Lights was opened in Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum.
Photo book Flowers, Shimmering Light and her directorial movie xxxHOLiC were released on the same year.