Yuki Onodera: The Object's Portrait
13 January – extended until March 22, 2018
A selection of Yuki Onodera's works from her Portrait de Fripes and Study for Image á la Sauvette series, among others, are on view at JHB Gallery. In these works, Japanese artist Onodera re-examines the relationship between the object, image and motion, often exploring themes of seriality, optical illusion and embodiment. She repeats simple gestures by playfully layering existing images and objects into new abstractions.
These homes, photographed in the streets of Tokyo, become floating illuminated formations in space. In Onodera’s Look Out The Window series, the artist re-affirms conceptions of the camera obscura, by creating a connection with the “camera” as “room.”
Onodera obscures both the subject and the viewer’s gaze in her Eleventh Finger series. Onodera writes: “Captured in my photographs were the faces of people who I had shot without their permission. Was I supposed to hide their faces to respect their personality rights? If so, I wanted to avoid the kind of blurred out faces you often see in such photo. I wanted something that would treat them with due respect – yes, I wanted to hide them in a more elegant, refined manner. My solution was these pure white, decorated masks.”
In the Portrait de Fripes (Portrait of Second-hand Clothes) series, Onodera turns garments into objects in space. "Taking these items that Boltanski used as a symbol of a historic tragedy, Onodera displays them one at a time against the backdrop of her open window, restoring their individuality and creating a bodiless photographic portrait," wrote Tomoko Okabe, Curator, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
Being the motif, pet bottles are presented as squeezed or crushed, and though distorted in shape, the idea of them as a container still remains. The liquid bursting out from the bottle mouth is directly painted on the gelatin silver print, as an act of intervention and interaction with the image itself.
Onodera extracts images from magazines and newspapers and re-contextualizes them into new silhouettes. The images are reproduced from scenes including historical ruins, streetlights at night and microscopic photo-images. "Using her extremely rich and sensitive visual perception, Onodera's photography captures and magnifies objects of daily life, stripping of their intrinsic attributes, and significance, while bestowing on them a new recognition that goes beyond their own self, creating unusual and outstanding pictures," writes Xiao Xiaolan, Curator Shanghai Art Museum.
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