Text by Bojan Radovič
This was my first trip to Japan and I did not know exactly what to expect there. Of course, I tried to gather as much data as possible, especially on the area of Toyama, but it was quite difficult to find a lot of information in English. Of the information I managed to find, I was drawn in particular to that about the festival Marumage.
My idea, before going to Japan, was that my work would be based on the Japanese story of the “fox window”. When you encounter unknown scenery and find yourself suddenly crossing a mental threshold of no return, then using the thumb and forefinger of both hands, you make a circle, and through the resulting hole, look again at the scenery. That opening you make with your hands is called a “fox window”. The camera is similar; it acts as a kind of fox window for somebody entering unknown territory. A story I heard in Himi was in some way related to the fox window story. There the beautiful views of the Japanese Alps, rising above the sea, are unique. The view is not always clear, and sometimes you're not sure whether you are seeing the mountains, or just clouds. As I was told, and if I understand correctly, the locals call this phenomenon “mirage.” It seemed the perfect name to describe my work in Himi.
At the beginning of my work I had quite a few problems. My projects are usually based on a concept, which required time observing the new environment and communicating with people to develop. I ended up wanting to incorporate elements that were quite unexpected, namely the contrast between tradition and traditional aesthetics on the one hand and commercialization and pop culture on the other. The results of this approach were smaller stories.
Ducal Palace, Guimarães
7. 10. - 28. 10. 2012
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