Mina Heydari-Waite

Beauty in 8 Directions


A collection of writing, imagery and objects housed in a travel trunk // portable showroom, inspired by a period of primary research in Kyoto and Tokyo in 2017. The project explored the way that commerce creates and engages with orientalist tropes associated with ‘Japanamania’- tracing contemporary trends back to 19th century enthusiasm for imported Japanese ideas in the form of ‘curiosities’ and ‘souvenirs’. I was interested in subverting and investigating the way cultural traditions and experiences are relayed using visual props that spark preconceived notions of the foreign. The work explored how this parallels the way in which artists collect, reassemble, retell and refabricate different cultural narratives and visual cues, and how these interact with different communities on both local and international levels.

The project was shown at the RSA Annual Exhibition 2017 as part of the Barns-Noble Award. It also received funding from The Great British Sasakawa Fund.


Thanks to Guy Scott (Broad Workshop) for fabricating the dream travel trunk.