A trip down memory lane with Chino Otsuka

A trip down memory lane with Chino Otsuka

Jun 12, 2012 |  by  |  Art, Event
About the author
The name's Ciaran, a 27-year-old guy who loves the idea of a discovery, even if it actually isn't one. Among many other Sherlock Holmes adventures, searching for art and music is what keeps me going. High Five!

Japan is absolutely fascinating. The Japanese way of life, as I know it, is almost a perfect juxtaposition of a hypermodern technological society versus quite a strict conservative traditional culture and etiquette. Translate this to the work of photographer Chino Otsuka and you are treated to very pure unedited photographs, combined with high-tech layered elements that bring you back to your own personal memories.

Chino 2

Chino, this is the first complete retrospective of your work. You must be excited.
“Yes, I am, very! Huis Marseille is the perfect setting for this exhibition. It has the intimacy of a real house and leaves visitors the space to roam around freely. Also, seeing all of my work hanging together like this provides me with new ideas and shows me the missing parts between my series. I can now see how to move on and experiment with my work.”

Memory never works in chronological order.

In all of your series there is a certain reoccurrence of memory. You go back to places you once were as a child and you incorporate layers into photographs. Why is this so important to you?
“Memory never works in chronological order. I see memory as an identity; it’s a constant conflict between the past, the present and the future. We all have selectiveness in our own personal memories. We adjust our own memories as we see fit and this causes a distortion. It is precisely this echo that I find so interesting.”

Chino 1

You expose very personal elements of your own life. Some might believe that you are trying to show a specific message or express certain emotions. Are you ever anxious to see in what way the viewer interprets your photographs? How important do you find it that the viewer knows the story behind your work?
“My work is personal, but it is also very familiar. This is something I am constantly aware of in my work. It can be anyone’s memory and that is the connection I like to keep open. I see my exhibition as a trigger; my work is a tool to discover one’s own inside. All I really do is throw out ideas of the past and that leads everyone to a different and self-personal future. The correct interpretation is down to the viewer himself.”

Time travel occurs in your mind and not in the photograph.

Where does emotion then fit in to your photographs?
“Many people ask me why I‘m so sad when they see my series Imagine Finding Me. But what they actually see is their own sadness in that photograph. This is also why I’m constantly choosing images without smiles or typical Japanese peace signs. I deliberately try to keep my work ambiguous.”

What should people keep in mind when viewing your work, if anything at all?
“Time travel occurs in your mind and not in the photograph.”

A World of Memories

Where: Huis Marseille, Keizergracht 401
When: June 9th – September 9th
Website: Huis Marseille / Chino Otsuka

Chino 3

Photography courtesy of Sabrina Beek

Sharing is caring!