Now where am I now and what place do I belong to?

My creative inspiration is motived by the concept of ubiety- which is the quality or state of being in a place. Where am I now and what place do I belong to? It is said that creativity is one of the ways to confirm one’s existence. For me, it is the way to confirm my ubiety.

My interest in this concept is rooted in an experience I had as a child. My father’s business brought my family to a village close to a jungle in Borneo, Malaysia. I lived in this place until I was 4 years old. At that time, my mother and I decided to move back to Japan, and we would say over and over the phrase “let’s go back to Japan!” The expression sounded fascinating and hopeful to me. I believed I had another ‘home town’ that I belonged to. I was excited to go “home,” but when I arrived it was a shock to discover that my other “home,” Japan, was a totally unfamiliar and strange place. The language, customs, environment- everything- was strange.

My history of moving continued because of father’s job. I started to record the regions, addresses, and names of our apartments in my daily journal to preserve my memories of where I had lived. If I didn’t do this, I would always feel lost, and this feeling of ‘belonging to nowhere’ is always reflected in my work.

Most of my works are installed at the site to encourage viewers to recognize the character of that place. My site-specific installations and my ongoing Lat/Long series are based on histories of the region, catalogues of daily life, and communications with the inhabitants of that region. With every piece, I become deeply involved with the community in order to capture the essence of the place where I will be installing the work. My process is one of familiarizing myself with an unfamiliar community’s identity, and also reconfirming the identity of my own communities. Through my process I become a part of the community, and the place becomes somewhere that I belong. It is the way I discover the place that I belong to.

The desire to understand one’s ubiety is universal. Where was I born? Where have I been, and where will I die? I would like to encourage us to recognize that our ubiety is limited on the earth.


 多くの私の作品は、場所の歴史や特徴からインスピレーションを得て作られています。色々な場所でのサイトスペシフィックなインスタレーションと現在進行中のLat/Longシリーズでは、作品を置く場所の本質を知りたいという気持ちからコミュニティーとできるだけ深く関わり制作しています。このような私の制作行程は、その地域について考えるものであり、関わる人たちに彼らの所在を問うものであり、彼らのアイデンティティーの再認識をうながすもののように見えますが、実は裏を返せば私自身が今どこに居るのかを私がしっかりと把握するための方法なのかもしれません。作品を通して会話をする相手からの言葉、反応、作品制作が終わった後も続く私達のかかわり合いや共有した記憶は私を確実にそこに存在させてくれます。しかしこの「自分の所在」を感じたい、理解したいという思いは、人にとって普遍的な感覚なのではないかと思います。2013年からは、”One’s ubiety ある人の所在“という、私以外の誰かの「所在」を「あなたの人生において大切(重要)な場所はどこですか?」という問いを通してアーカイブしていく長期プロジェクトを手がけています。


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