showcase #6 “storytelling” curated by minoru shimizu
Sajik Kim, Takeshi Mita
open on fri., sat., and sun. 12:00-18:00
appointments are available on weekdays
eN arts is honored to present “Serendipity”, the fifth exhibition in the “showcase” series curated by Minoru Shimizu. From its inception in 2012, these exhibitions, as the name implies, literally showcase talented young photographers.
The theme of showcase #6 is “storytelling”. We hope you will enjoy various imaginary stories through the works of Kim and Mita’s.
showcase #6, 2017 – storytelling
“Narrative” within photography is the theme of the 6th “showcase” exhibition.
Since photographs are defenseless in the face of words, they are absolutely neutral. If even the most commonplace photograph of scenery, or even the aftermath of an out of control accident causing the death of an infant, has a written comment attached, its ordinariness becomes like an oppressive aura that envelops the photograph. In a conventional portrait photograph or a “At the time this was taken, it was already terminal cancer” photograph – once you hear the background, the viewer starts seeking for the signs of a fate that cannot actually be foreseen. Even if, however, the background story added after the fact does alter how one views a photograph, the photo itself does not change. The photograph, untarnished, does not become the simple tool of a loquacious storyteller.
Looking from another perspective, there are photographs that trigger associations that result in fragments of stories to come to mind regardless of whether a photo is of a person or of scenery. The endless detail in a photograph stimulates our memories and experiences as we examine it.
I have selected two artists, Sajik Kim, and Takeshi Mita, each displaying different talents, from among those arts who combine motifs of déjà vu to create photographs that unfold a “narrative”
Sajik Kim (1981 -) was declared the Grand Prize Winner of the 2016 Canon New Cosmos of Photography photo competition. The winning works of the “Story” are portraits that evoke the paintings of Hans Holbein the Younger, brimming with delicate detail – so much so that they are portraits not simply limited to the person portrayed.
Unless you are ignorant of history and guileless, you cannot believe in the essential, primary, base place to which we are drawn – a place of single tribe, race or nation as in a pure fairy or traditional tale. That is our world today, and within this world, Kim dares to spin new tales by skillfully combing motifs that produce associations with the essential primary places in religion, ceremonies, local customs, tribalism and localities. For a person with no place to which to return, this might be a place to go. Different from a sense of belonging, it might be the pursuit of a individual’s identity.
In this exhibition, we will display works from the “Story” series and snapshots of its preparation.
Takeshi Mita (1979 – ) won an Award of Excellence at the 2015 Canon New Cosmos of Photography photo competition. If carefully viewed, one can distinguish subtle details in his beautiful photographs of scenic beauty found in nature. Mita prints out nature photographs he downloads from the internet and, without folding them, roughly arranges them to produce a new artificial backdrop with a sense of depth, to which he adds another image – such as a traveller, an adventurer – and then takes a photograph of the completed composite.
The viewer is himself drawn into the photograph from the perspective established by the traveller/adventurer. Mita’s format could thus be called “Pursuit”. As if taking a virtual trip using Google Earth, we pursue the traveler/adventurer, enjoying the scenery from 360 degrees as we lightly climb down to each path.
Looking from another perspective, the artist exposes that these are fake trips by the careful choice of angles and by showing the edges of the pieces of paper used in the composites. Nonetheless, visually overwhelmed by the multitude of Internet images, the adventurer, completely aware, continues to seek places he may venture.
Minoru Shimizu May 2017
Art critic. Regularly contributes essays and critics for photography books, art magazines and museum catalogues. Recent English publications on art: “The Art of Equivalence” in Wolfgang Tillmans truth study center (Taschen, 2005); “Shinjuku, Index” in Daido Moriyama (Editorial RM, 2007), “Fiction and Restoration of Eternity” in Hiroshi Sugimoto: Nature of Light (Izu Photo Museum/Nohara, 2009); “Daido Moriyama’s Farewell Photography” in Daido Moriyama (Tate Modern, 2012)
Sajik Kim “vessel” ( from the series of “STORY” ) 2017 Digital Print © Sajik Kim
“I sometimes think that I have memories of the experiences of my ancestors. When I exposed to various tribal and ethnic lore – such as song, dance, story telling – I often feel a sense of déjà vu.
That strange sensation that might be thought of as a memory overlaps with the actual memories of my life so far to express itself as a single story. By facing this story head on, I ponder what “Home” is to me.”
Takeshi Mita “On the contour line” 2017 Degital Print CC BY-SA Takeshi Mita
“I have continued to create works while keeping mind various problems with the concept of “Experience”. In recent years, I have centered my published works on the motif of an adventurer. An adventurer is a person who opens his experiences to others. He/she at times faces an extraordinarily difficult environment in trying to build a special relationship between “the world” and “myself”. That connection takes various forms but I am most fond of exploring it as an individual continuing to travel in such a way that the experience of the adventurer and the experience of the other person go back and forth to one another equally.
Within the concept of adventure is the hope that the world is mysterious and that mysteries remain. In this exhibit, I am displaying works in the format of following the trip of a photographer who is attempting to discover the mysteries within another person’s experiences.
Many of the works are made using images that are available for alternation and commercial use uploaded from the Internet. I collected many images from the archives of shared image sites by checking their tags and then photographing the prints I made. From that point, what I am trying to create is depth in a world born from the such as bent photographic paper and the gazes that someone once threw out upon the world. Via this process, I express my own experiences and stories as I look upon the photographic archives.