I am visual artist working in the field of installation art and sculpture. I have based my artist activity in Tokyo and Los Angeles. I was awarded a grant from the 2005-2006 Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artists to study in America, where I chose to work at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

I have been making so-called “Shadow Picture” installations, with sculptural elements. The theme of my completed work, the fictitious city (like a travel diary recording a search for comfort), is based on uncertain information, including hints from ambiguous memories the history of a town, a picture postcard, and its city etc. Everyone thinks that the subject of “a place that comforts the soul” is central to life. That is to say, we are motivated by a search for places, people or work that calm the spirit and bring pleasure.

The “original image” of an object and its “shadow” exist as a pair, and a shadow becomes an independent object. As an entity within the pair the shadow itself is ephemeral. However that a shadow exists is also proof that the “original image” was there. A shadow is like the snapshot for  which a camera is not used. Moreover, the so-called “shadow world” (the world of spirits) is illustrated by distorted means, such as negative images and warped shadows.

My means for expressing these ideas is projection of cut-paper constructions. This cut-paper- projection becomes like a negative of a photograph, and the shadow projected on the wall becomes a “picture”. The audience can witness a camera-less“photograph”

As an example of one of my topics for cut-paper-projection, the image “Shadow” was drawn from the novelist, Italo Calvino's “Invisible Cities”. In his story, Kublai Khan has sensed the end of his empire coming soon. Marco Polo diverts the emperor with tales of the cities he has seen in his travels around the empire: cities and memory, cities and designs, cities and the dead, trading cities, hidden cities. As another subject for my work, the image of the Eiffel Tower is used as an example of a transmitter of electricity and radio waves. For the people of today, a life is realized only in places where electric wires and electricity reach. I consider the fundamental issues of modern people with my artwork.

It became clear to me that each of these fantastic places really reflects today’s social condition. Particularly, I thought that the shadow could be a metaphor for vague information and social satire.

Keiko Inoh
2016