Wish you were here / 2013-2015

Silver gelatin print

At times in my day-to-day life, I find myself stumbling over reminders of days gone by. Partly formed of memory rise up from a forgotten abyss within, surrounding me like a powerful fragrance and rocking my emotions to the core. In these moments, I am seized with the desire to gather and collect, to retrieve what has been lost and weave it into something whole.

I spent my childhood in a small village in the mountains of Japan. As a child, I ached to leave my home, to become an adult and discover the person I truly was. I dreamed of taking myself to a place where I was known by no one, where I could sing and dance to my heart’s content without interruption. Now that I am no longer a child, it has occurred to me how this desire has led me to abandon traces of my past, effectively unmarking myself with the scent of my own recollection. Having traveled over the mountains of my hometown—crossing an entire ocean and leaving my childhood home in a distant wake—, I recall the days of my youth with great frequency, thirsting for the lingering images of what came before. As I retrace these buried steps, fragments of other memories occasionally appear. They talk to me intimately but also behave like strangers, and make me imagine: Was it a completely different life I led, in a place completely different from what I feel to be true?As past and present intertwine, bleary and focused parts of the mind intersect, giving rise to a variety of sensations that bring with them feelings difficult to put into words.

My aim with this project is to reconstruct the memories of my childhood based on clues from the emotional elements associate with my childhood memories, as well as the symbols that exist in photographs I keep as mementos. Three-dimensional dioramas, composed of overlapping multiple layers of photo collages, have been assembled and photographed to illustrate landscapes of my memory. In addition to self-portraits, other materials have been used to construct the collage. They include family photos from when I was growing up, personal snapshots and pictures of garden-variety objects taken from the Internet, which can be symbols evocative of my childhood memories.




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