Hiromi Toshikawa (利川 裕美 Toshikawa Hiromi), born 1976 in Tokyo, better known as Hiromix (ヒロミックス, Hiromikkusu), is a Japanese photographer and artist.
Born in 1976, Hiromix rose to fame in Japan after winning the 11th New Cosmos of Photography (写真新世紀, Shashin Shin-seiki) award, hosted by the photographic manufacturer Canon, in March 1995. Hiromix was nominated by Nobuyoshi Araki, one of Japan’s best known photographers, for a series of photographs called Seventeen Girl Days. Through her provocative photographs depicting the life from a teenager’s perspective, Hiromix became a media sensation and pop cultural icon in Japan.
In 1996, Hiromix published her first book Girls Blue with critical acclaim. In the west, Hiromix became well known with her book Hiromix, edited by the French photography critic Patrick Remy and published by Steidl in 1998. In 2000, Hiromix was awarded the prestigious Kimura Ihei Award for her book Hiromix Works. To date, Hiromix has published several other photography books that are concerned with identity, community, gender and the everyday. Hiromix is represented by Hiromi Yoshii Gallery in Tokyo.
As a former member of the Japanese band The Clovers, Hiromix also released a music album and continues to work as DJ. Hiromix briefly appears in a TV commercial for a Yves Saint Laurent fragrance called Jazz. The German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans photographed Hiromix in 1997. Hiromix also has a cameo appearance in the 2003 film Lost In Translation, directed by Sofia Coppola.
According to Philibert Ono – director of the established website “Photoguide Japan” and one of the few to have written some words about the work of Hiromi – Hiromi went through an amazing success in such a short period of time:
“She has legitimized the photo diary style of photography which is nothing but a bunch of photos of oneself, friends, and everyday things. All of a sudden, other young girls started photographing the ordinary and mundane things in their lives or their nude bodies. The penchant for imitation is still alive and well in Japan. High school girls also got into the act by carrying and using single-use cameras for capturing whatever captures their fancy. The photos were just a bunch of snaps that any person on the street could take.”
Hiromix photographs are personal snapshots, random moments caught in the act of being. With the exception of “Japanese Beauty” (1997) — where she shoots fashion models instead of herself, though the Hiromix style allows her to portray them almost as friends — the other two books are a collection of miscellaneous snapshots wherein young girls like herself and friends are pictured.