Mariko Mori is a Japanese video, photographic and sculpture artist. While studying at Bunka Fashion College, she worked as a fashion model in the late 1980s. This strongly influenced her early works, such as Play with Me, in which she takes control of her role in the image, becoming an exotic, alien creature in everyday scenes. In 1989, she moved to London to study at the Chelsea College of Art and Design.
The juxtaposition of Eastern mythology with Western culture is a common theme in Mori's works, often through layering photography and digital imaging, such as in her 1995 installation Birth of a Star. Later works, such as Nirvana show her as a goddess, transcending her early roles via technology and image, and abandoning realistic urban scenes for more alien landscapes.