Momi Crouzet was born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, in a small town surrounded by mountains and forests, rivers and flowers. As a child, she loved to read, and when she was alone, her imaginary world accompanied her. She is already good at capturing the essence of her friends and school teachers, and creates stories to make people laugh.
Her uncle was a photographer and taught her the basics, but the black and white photography course she took as an option at Rosemont College in Philadelphia, where she spent a year, marked the real start of her career. She discovered that she could use photography to tell her stories.
The work of Duane Micheal, a photographer active in the 1960s-1980s, has had a major influence on his work. The artist deals with duality, the link between invisible spirits and the real world, and the interaction between psychology and landscape. This duality is well represented in Momi’s work.
While Duane’s series of photographs often evoke the taboo subjects of his time (homosexuality, death, sex), Momi’s focus is on the psychology of children. Her work Songes de la nuit, exhibited in 2007 in the children’s section at Le Bon Marché in Paris.
After her marriage, she lived in Paris and London, enriching her work with new elements. The heavy nostalgia of her native Japan is expressed in her creations in the form of origami, symbolic and graphic representations of her homeland, matched with the skies and landscapes of France. Coming Home”, an origami and a landscape photographed separately, then combined and given a three-dimensional effect, is exhibited and her photographs from 2015 – 2019 are published in the press in France, in Italian Vogue and in a web-magazine in the United States.
Mystery, duality and the fusion of Japanese and Western cultures characterize the latest developments in Momi’s work. She takes her inspiration from the ancient Japanese Buddhist symbol, a divine invocation of good fortune, which is usually written with a brush. However, having lived abroad for a long time, she avoids forming it with forceful brushstrokes and instead traces it with pressed flowers, making it lighter and more delicate.
In her photographs, her veneration for nature and invisible higher beings is expressed in a very feminine way through the use of pressed flowers, combined with the background and natural elements (water, wind, gold, earth, etc.), are traditionally represented for each deity on ancient scrolls. This work will be shown in July at the Noho M55 Gallery in NY in 2023.
The duality that Momi seeks is the connection and fusion of opposing worlds, which she highlights through her unique vision of the world, in a childlike, ethereal and delicate style.