• Tamaribuchi MFA Blog

Spring Semester - Week 1

I returned to Seattle on Monday evening, and took a little break for a couple days to decompress. With a lot of the information received from faculty in critiques in seminar, I wrote an artist statement for my show opening on January 30: In my art practice, my interests are concerned with moving through time and space, and the relationship to the ephemerality and impermanence of life. As time progresses, I fear forgetting what I find to be sublime — mostly in people, places and events, within moments of time. Dwelling on the sublime through art-making provides enough consideration to accept its impermanence.

Two years ago, I was sitting on the Shinkansen, the bullet train in Japan, traveling from Takamatsu to Kyoto, and from Kyoto to Tokyo. I discovered, if I held my iPhone up to the window, and selected the panoramic function, the algorithm would try to make sense of the speeding imagery, by filling in the scene through fragmentation.

In the transformation from cellphone photo into art, the use of everyday media is embraced, to speak to our contemporary culture, in expressing time and space of today within our digital and consumer language.

This is a departure from previous work, of direct mark-making from the artist’s hand. Where is it? It is my body. It is the bodily experience of moving through time and space on a speeding train, capturing the ephemeral into an object.

A small presence of the hand lies in gold-leafing the sides of the photos, correlating the work to Japanese panoramic golden screen painting, a genre that began in the 16th Century, and crystallized Japanese painting into its own, away from Chinese painting. Like the photos, these historic paintings also described specific places and specific events, in the same and nearby locations.

I ask myself, what does it mean to travel through time in space, in the place of my ancestors, where I also am a foreigner? I make sense of this, presenting work that is a metaphor for the fragmentation and hybridity of identity. I link this hybridity to the processes of my art practice. I approach them within certain structures, to be muddled with, and then find a truth, a resolution. This is a mirror for how we operate in this world, subjected to particular identities and ways we are seen. Yet we find resolution in discovering and knowing our true selves. Each of us are are unique, yet interconnected, moving through time and space.

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