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Itaguai, RJ - 1973

Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Visual Artist, Yoko Nishio, lectures as adjunct professor at the School of Fine Arts of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (EBA/UFRJ), institution where she graduated bachelor in engraving arts on (1996) and earned her master's and doctorate degrees (2002 and 2014, respectively). She began to investigate themes related to violence in her doctoral research, which the object of analysis were drawings and inscriptions made on the walls of prisons and police stations. The thesis “Drawings on prison walls: traces, risks and trajectories” was presented in 2014.


Currently, she is developing three visual arts projects: “Corpo Formoso”, “Praesidium” and “Enquadramentos de Bertillon”. She is a researcher at NuVisu (Núcleo de Estudos Visuais em Periferias Urbanas), where she develops the study “Painting and materiality: images of violence and control” and also has several works published on the relationship between image and violence.




"(...) Corpo Formoso is the result of wanderings, conversations, exchanges and a lot of observation of people and the streets in which the artist walks through, combining memories and stories that she learns in this process. Yoko is interested in the way men and women decorate both the body as well as the places they frequent. There are many accessories used to create identities, all associated with beauty, well-being, in an attempt to produce joy and originality. Earrings, head pieces, tattoos, patterns, tiles and floors are observed by the artist who incorporates them into her works, creating different scenes and environments. It is her body that, as she walks, captures the ornaments. It is her eyes that understands the diversity of designs and the diversity of colour. It is her sensitivity that perceives decorating as a form of resistance, a disobedience to regulations (...)"

​Isabel Portella, curator


Aseptic, defleshed, digital bodies. When physical presence becomes a danger, the body withdraws into permanent quarantine. What we are left with is the offer of remote images that temporarily flicker on coded, scanned and saturated screens. Every day, a battle is fought to gain attention space in a flow of virtual mirrors that exacerbate narcissistic entrepreneurship. They thus subvert analog life, in which no one presents and sees themselves at the same time. We watch and offer clippings of time and images that capital buys and redistributes, without ties, across the network. Thus, connectivity and precariousness come together, producing new ways of working, sociability and imagination. The question that remains: are these bodies products of contemporary anthropometry?


latin expression meaning protection, assistance and prison

​In a world marked by fear, the protection industry grows and with it surveillance and control devices proliferate. The quest for protection and the dream of total monitoring is not new, as we know. In the course of the modernization of life, surveillance towers were erected to discipline not only prison inmates, but also factory workers, subjecting both to a planned, docile and orderly routine. Today, surveillance devices not only order bodies and spaces but also discriminate them: installed at the entrance of the store or in gated communities, their purpose is to remove risk, the random, the unpredictable. But, perversely, it is also the exclusion of the undeserving of credit, the idle and the penniless. Thus, such protection instruments produce targets of social exclusion and a strong feeling of insecurity. In the dynamics of big cities, everyone is a suspect. At every corner a security camera awaits us. Their presence doesn’t let us forget to feel fear, which makes us addicted to protection. With no way out, we create devices every day that try to make living in fear bearable.

Given this context, the PRESIDIUM series of studies focuses on reviewing the banality of control, fear and, mainly, the expository violence of the image. Far from the traditional frontality of classical narratives, and against the purity of pictorial elements, this series of paintings seeks the machine's point of view and the contamination of painting with video, photography and the internet. As a ready-made, the composition is already finished. It is the security cameras that organize the scenario and the narrative. And the authorship of these images becomes multiple. In contrast, as a unique work, the materiality of the painting resizes the pixel plot and expands its meaning. Here, we focus on the dense symbolic load of the painting which, examined for centuries by critics and historians, can give us another view on recent images.


The series "Praesidium" and "Framings of Bertillon" give visibility to the consequences of fear, today embodied in the use of images as proof of guilt or innocence. The first series focuses on the cameras' ability to capture the moment of the crime, that is, the criminal act. In the second series, making reference to the police identification system created by French criminalist Alphonse Bertillon in the 19th century, the documentation is about the criminal himself. Despite the differences between the two series, some elements are in dialogue. The fascination with visual evidence and the body as a confession of guilt. As well as the constant attempts to escape surveillance through new urban masks: helmets, hats and caps. And in this game of control, identification; and disguise, the helmet becomes a threatening character under the eyes of contemporary panopticons.