Artist Statement

…The uncanny is associated with the bringing to light of what was hidden and secret, distinguishing the uncanny from the simply fearful by defining it as that class of the terrifying which leads us back to something long known to us, once very familiar.
— Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny (1919)

My work is about the exploration and discovery of subtle intimacy in unfamiliar spaces: what I refer to as empty space. In 2007, when I crossed the world to come to the United States from Japan, I experienced sensations of lost memories, nostalgia, and loss of home. I consider physical and psychological space as home. House is a physical shelter but home is psychologically important container, holding memories and nostalgia. Home is the only space where I can feel intimacy. Within the unfamiliar space of the uncanny, I challenge the fissure between what can be known and what is unknowable, and what resists clear delineations of intimacy.

In search of intimacy through empty space, I seek out spatial compositions, such as the basement and the forgotten corner, as well as remnants of the unfamiliar, such as abandoned dust, within those spaces. Casting glass and resin in a space is my main investigation and I have started using my body as performance, utilizing video and photography as a means of documentation.

I want to bring attention to the moment when I discover who I am in this world of empty and dead space. Freud said, “It may be true that the uncanny is nothing else than a hidden, familiar thing that has undergone repression and then emerged from it.” In my work, the uncanny becomes an important tool to help me recall my authentic memories from hidden and forgotten ones.

It has now been almost five years since I left the United States to go back to Japan. Japan is my home but now I do not feel that term describes the same qualities after I returned to my country again. How did I lose my intimacy in Japan? I think that this is the context of physical space. Do I need this space to feel home and if so, is there a minimum amount that can be defined? It is this questioning that has led to my artistic explanations of empty and dead space. Moreover, upon what is my intimacy built? Is it my physical home in Japan? If space is immaterial, then what are the elements that are important for me to feel intimacy?

I assume that I will not stay one place for a long time during the rest of my life. I am interested in researching nomads in Mongolia. People who do not have a stable place to live and were my ancestors. I am interested in researching nomadic concepts of intimacy in space and meaning of home. For me, home creates a specific relationship between body and space: a relationship of intimacy and memories. Making work in new environment is vital for me. Wandering is a part of my work to achieve the definition of intimacy in empty space and intimacy without space. Through my work, I document the intimacy and memory of the home. With nomadic movement, the physicality of home is shipped away. I wonder what form my work would take if the corners, basements, ash and dust were no longer there to represent such ideas.

December 2016