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“Voice of afar”

Bookshelf of the Museum on Echigo-Tsumari in Nigata, Japan



Photo: Hayato Wakabayashi

I interviewed local people in 2018 as a part of creating my artwork. As I visited one house to the other in the midst of winter in deep snow, I was always invited to warm up in kotatsu and to have some pickles and a cup of tea. It was so warm and calm to the point that I could even think that I would be allowed to take a nap. I listened their vivid stories from the past, memories of childhood and songs in such atomosphere. It was as if images emerging from each of these intimate and rich memories are projected onto the pure white snow field outside of the window. I have turned such image into a sculpture and created a personal monument in Uwano Community Centre. It seems it would not be possible to make such visits in 2021. The time I engaged with memories has become a memory and I have been pulling these threads to myself. By overlaying distance caused by the spread of COVID-19 with voices I hear from the other side of the river, I am planning to explore the actual state of the image.

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