AUG 24, 2012 – NOV 9, 2012


Diesel Art Gallery presents the first collaborative artwork between leading London-based make-up artist Ayami Nishimura and renowned British photographer Rankin. The exhibition showcases over 20 prints selected from their photography book “Ayami Nishimura by Rankin” as well as a video piece to accompany the book.

The concept for their collaborative project is 'Cyber'. Ayami has developed many different ideas based on this theme: "Cyber for me is a fusion of techno, virtual reality, digital, POP art, vivid colours, neon and hyper nature. I use many materials, colours and textures to create my ideas and I have set myself no rules or limits as to what I can create. My aim for each image is to make something bright, fun and full of ideas. Each image is telling you its own story." The models in various shades of bright make up were then photographed by Rankin.

The book “Ayami Nishimura by Rankin” and other exhibition souvenirs will be available to purchase during the show at Diesel Art Gallery.




    Ayami was born and raised in Himeji, Japan and moved to London in 1993. She began her make-up career in 1997 and has been working ever since on high-end editorial projects and commercial work, predominately within the fashion industry. Her first break came when she worked on a main fashion story for Dazed & Confused magazine in May 2005 with photographer Mariano Vivanco. Since then, she has been constantly working on stories for leading titles such as Dazed, 10magazine and i-D. Ayami’s work is colourful, graphical and yet radiates classical beauty. She also works with numerous artists including Kylie Minogue, Kelis, Lady Gaga and M.I.A.


    Synonymous with dynamic and intimate portraiture, the British photographer Rankin has shot everyone from royalty to refugees. His powerful images are part of contemporary iconography, and mix a cross section of his own personal interests with commercial campaigns, from Nike to Women’s Aid. Rankin first came to prominence when he co-founded Dazed & Confused with Jefferson Hack. Rankin quickly became a formidable force in photography, shooting Brit-pop bands including Pulp and Blur and darlings of pop such as Kylie and Madonna. Rankin’s career continued to blossom and covers for German Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Arena and GQ quickly followed. Rankin is affiliated with a number of charities and has created hard-hitting campaigns for Women’s Aid and Oxfam to name but a few. In addition to his photographic career, Rankin has co-directed music videos, commercials and feature films with Chris Cottam.


Ayami Nishimura, RANKIN
Aug 24, 2012 – Nov 9, 2012
cocoti B1F, 1-23-16, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
11:30 - 21:00
Non-Regular Holiday
Kimiko Mitani Woo / MW Company
Supported by
SunM Color Co.,Ltd.
Kimiko Mitani Woo / MW Company
Independent Art Curator / Art Producer. After a career at Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo as an account executive of Nike, Kimiko Mitani Woo follows her dreams working with “Asian art and design”. Having worked on a few art projects such as Akasaka Art Flower 08, the artist management for Nam June Paik Art Center Opening, she established MW Company in February 2009 and started working in art producing in Tokyo and Shanghai. The main role of the company is to expose young and upcoming artists who represent a unique and non-traditional perspective of the world. By doing so, MW Company provides and encourages opportunities and development of the East Asian art scene. The previous projects are: DIESEL DENIM GALLERY AOYAMA, Japan Media Arts Festival, Upcoming Chinese design exhibition at Creation Gallery G8, etc.


Photo : KEN KATO

Photo : KEN KATO

Photo : KEN KATO

Photo : KEN KATO

Photo : KEN KATO

Photo : KEN KATO


Special Interview

--Please introduce yourself.
Ayami Nishimura, I am a London based makeup artist who works internationally.

--What made you become a make up artist?
I used be salon a hair dresser trained in Tokyo and moved to London in 93’ to do more hair dressing. After few years I met some new photographers and working on their test shoot together and just started to do makeup, now I never touch the hair anymore.

--Please tell us about the exhibition at DIESEL ART GALLERY, “MAKE UP” AYAMI NISHIMURA by RANKIN?
This is my first beauty photo book, and it is in collaboration with a photographer Rankin. My theme for this book was ‘Cyber’. It is colourful and powerful, showing many ideas you have never seen and take you to my fantasy world.

--How did you meet Rankin? What do you think of him?
I met him through his publication Dazed & Confused magazine. He loved one of the beauty stories I did and called me in to work together, it was 2005? He is absolutely a workaholic, shooting and traveling all the time. He has a passion in taking pictures and filming. He is also one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, amazing sense of humor and always makes me laugh.

--Please tell us about the background of how “Make Up” artworks were made.
He asked me if I wanted to do a book together after he published his first beauty book with a makeup artist Alex Box. We started to shoot straight away but it took 2 years to finish off as we are both so busy, it was hard to organize shooting dates, Then took another 6 months to layout, finish re-touching and printing. For each idea, normally I worked on makeup design at home trying on my assistant’s face and emailed him my ideas with references, he was always very encouraging.

--You collaborate with a notable design unit named Swash London in “Swash Camouflage”. How would the collaboration with other artists benefit you and your creation?
It is very interesting to collaborate with people from other fields. I love explaining my ideas to them, and they get excited and put their own ideas. It brings the picture to a different level.

--Which work is your favorite?
My book cover ‘Alien’.

--Which work is your favorite?
Picasso, Serge Luteins, Irving Penn, Helmut Newton, Avedon, Madonna.

--Where does your inspiration come from?
It normally comes up to my mind, I suppose my daily life and communication with people around me and music I love.

--How does it affect to your career that you are based in UK?
There are good publications, photographers and designers here. If you are a good artist then you are found and are given opportunities. London is a comfortable city to live where people are independent. Life is tougher than living in Japan which is a good thing in a way.

--Any difference in your creation or idea when you work on your personal work and when you do commercial work?
When it is a commercial job, I am part of the team. It is important to communicate with the photographer, the stylist and the client. I need to understand what it is trying to say. When I was working on my book, it’s all about my idea so I just did what I wanted to say.

--What is your motto as a make up artist?
To have my own style. Also enjoy every single job and have a nice day.

You’ve been working for many artists / musician, Which was the most impressive work for you?
I went to Morocco with M.I.A to do her ‘Bad Girls’ video and was impressed by how strong she is. She doesn’t compromise but at the same time she gives people on the job space and respects their ideas too.

--What is the biggest difference in make up and fashion culture between Europe and Japan?
I always liked street fashion in Tokyo, young people looks amazing. Since 70’s they had Takenoko, Ganguro, Gothic Lolita, Cosplay..etc. They are extreme and very interesting, you don’t see things like that in other country. Also I think all girls wear makeup and take care of their hair, woman looks nicer in Japan. I think Europeans are better looking and have nicer figure but majority of people look unfashionable. I am Japanese who lives in UK for 19 years so I know and understand both cultures very well.

--You are one of the leading make up artists working overseas, any advise to those who wants to follow you?
To have clear vision what you want to do and work on it. Don’t be shy and too serious.

--Please tell us about any upcoming projects.
In the future I would like to have my own makeup line. At the moment I am working with American makeup line ‘MAKE’ which launches very soon.

--Is there anything you want to do in Japan in the future?
I would like to have makeup line made in Japan.

—Please give a message to the people coming to the exhibition.
I hope you enjoy my exhibition and it magically makes you happy.