2 / tamaki

The title of this work Tamaki which the word literally means personification or Buddhism transmigration of souls, comes from the name of a model for this work. She is a woman, divorced after many twists and turns, currently raising her son. Japanese women are not born with gender given. We are playing more than one images or personifcations at the same time: “A good wife”, “an affectionate mother” or “a wise daughter”. And being afflicted from all these, we are trying to establish identity and selfness. “Our ancestors cut off the brightness on the land from above and created a world of shadows, and far in the depths of it they placed woman, marking her the whitest of beings..”

   This work is created with an inspiration from a book In Praise of Shadows written by Junichiro Tanizaki. Awe towards aesthetics of Japanese tradition, contempt towards the women’s social position that has been depreciated in the society, and emotions arose from both of these two inseparables, are expressed in this set of four photographs. In Praise of Shadows is an essay wrote for economy and business affairs magazine in December 1933 and January 1934. In this essay, Tanizaki argues the unique aesthetics that Japanese hold is cultivated through their way of life being familiarly close to darkness and shadows. 

mediums:  silver gelatin hand print by artist