"Miniascape Window"

Thursday, Oct.4 , 2012 - Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012
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Geratin silver prints, with Reiko Imoto's signature and edition notations

Copyright (c) Reiko Imoto All Rights Reserved


About "Miniascape Window"

An actual “miniascape” represents a personal world by creating a miniature garden, putting one’s favorite objects into a box with no lid. In Japan, the culture of creating a miniascape has been traced back to the Edo-era. In modern times, the miniascape was developed particularly in Japan to encourage “sandplay therapy”, which is a form of psychological therapy for treating the human mind. A “Miniascape” is perceived as a mirror that reflects the mind of the person who creates it.

When I photograph something with my square format camera, I believe that the cropped square world the camera’s viewfinder, or the square photograph itself looks like a square “window”. I carefully observe the outer world through the camera, and then I capture a part of the reality that makes me feel curious. At the same time, I try to express my inner-self through photography, and as a result, whether I like it or not, my subconscious world is somewhat reflected in it.

When I look at the printed square images, I get a feeling of ‘knowing about the inner functions of my mind by seeing the reflection on the window, though I’m looking out through the window at the same time.’ In other words, such a photograph can be thought of as a “miniascape window” to me.

When I try to put my photographs together into a series of work, I initially select only the most curious images from a collection of small prints. Then, I focus on arranging the photographs into a sequence, finding relationships between the images. This is a process of gathering the threads of a story through the photographs, and looking into my own mind. As I look again at the pictures, I notice new meanings appearing in the images, and also in the visions inside my mind, so I try to freely rearrange the pictures into a new order again and again. This creative process is repeated until I am satisfied. I think that this activity is quite similar to creating a “miniascape”.

The photographic activities with these developments eventually become a new "window" which can connect my "inner-cosmos and outer world" or "myself and others".

The meaning of photography as a form of self-expression can be unexpectedly opened up when setting it free from the photographer's intention; when a work of photography is shared with others by viewing, new meanings and new ways of seeing are added to the image.

I hope that my photographic works in this project will become the viewers’ personal “miniascape window”, inviting each mind and reflecting it on the images individually. My wish for the work is for it to fulfill its own small role.

Welcome to the “Miniascape Window” exhibition!

Reiko Imoto

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