Utako Shindo

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understanding of misunderstanding

Solo Exhibition / 8 - 21 April, 2013 / cafe SLOPE, Kamiigusa, Tokyo

My grandmother has just turned 99 years old earlier this year. Her dementia is progressing, yet despite this she is ever more expressive. Though she often has to move from one nursing home to another, she is always able to search for her familiar mountain or the shadow of her husband from any window. Last summer, I was looking at the scenery out of hospital window with my grandmother in her wheel chair. In reality, we were viewing the direction to the west of Chofu City, but I heard her say in raptures, "We can see Mt. Aso there, so beautiful", and, for a moment, I became lost in time and space, despite my understanding of her misunderstanding.

Through this experience I was brought to reconsider my own attitude towards art. Our particular sense of nostalgia, belief, desire or fear may be discerned as a factor that differentiates not only the way we see things, but the world we live in. It is also true that our society categorizes these factors into good or bad, and in some cases even unduly suppresses them. In contrast, in the art field these factors are connected to the idea of 'imagination', and it can further transform them into a 'force of movement' - a force which transposes us to another time and space in a moment. Upon this understanding I came to recognize art as a drive of the intellect and aesthetics, which is placed in a repeated state of trial and error under the dictates of each place, era and condition.

In this exhibition, I deal with the visual perception which seems to be derive from my own imagination. My particular attraction to a strong sense of "presence" in images of shadow or reflection, despite their essential "absence", is perhaps a working of my imagination. Here such views framed by windows or camera lenses, images from computer or smartphone screens, and pictures contained within a sheet of paper, despite their various purposes, are forcibly connected into one landscape through my imagination. While at the same time, in this cafe where the song "Look for the Silver Lining" is often played, I imagine what may be on the other side of the white wall in front of me, like the silver lining behind a cloud.


April 2013, Utako Shindo