My photographs fuse performative elements with traditional landscape imagery, in order to explore the metaphoric potential of the environment. My project, Feral, was shot while on solitary kayaking and hiking trips, using a medium format camera and basic camping supplies. In many works, traces of my body are visible as I merge with, take refuge in, and lose myself in the natural world. In some scenes my body is dwarfed by the primordial landscape, as if swallowed up by nature; in others I dissolve myself, in a rush of water, or am nearly engulfed in a creeping fog. Many photographs reveal evidence of some seemingly paranormal event— a fire burning in a river or an ambiguous, intimate encounter with a fox.
These explorations of the unknown landscape suggest a parallel, yet more internal journey, a voyage into the unconscious. In this way, I think of my work as intensely psychological, and each photograph begins to suggest a personal mythology and narratives of metamorphoses. My work builds on photography’s dialogue with memory and mortality, presence and absence.
Image courtesy of the artist
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”-Albert Einstein I think about how art and science are very similar. In both instances there is a process of investigation, imagination and rational. My work is informed by memory, ritual and culture. Recently I’ve been working in large-scale site-specific installations that investigate numeric and geometric patterns in daily life. I am interested in how patterns both strengthen and adorn physical spaces, our bodies, and our psyches. I transform contemporary materials, accessible in everyday use into abstract installations. I work primarily in drawing, sculpture and installation. My interests lie in the linear qualities and a sense of immediacy I find in each medium. My installations are site-specific and tend to collapse and expand depending on the site and tension I want to create. I try to factor in the innate properties of the materials I use in order to use line, pattern and repetition to create complex compositions. My way of working makes visible the process of constructing a drawing or sculpture or installation, I organize or divide elements in order to investigate abstract gestures. These gestures have the potential to visually represent navigation as a way of working through systems and structures of memory.
Image: Mary Valverde, “Quipu” (Detail), Fabric, aluminum tape, pennies, Site-Specific Installation at Jersey City Museum, NJ (2006) and Corridor Gallery, NY (2009)
My interests are varied, and the materials I use to express my ideas run the full gamut of contemporary artistic practice. My main themes are of memory and disappearance, which I express by using natural phenomenon to reveal simple facts about our everyday existence. I enjoy bringing your attention to those simple wonders which are easy to forget in a everyday life.
I use sound, image, smell and taste as a materials. I usually present my work a careful installation. An installation is a way to leave the confines of the material and approach the freedom of dealing directly with ideas I am excited to make an installation of almost nothing.
On trash: Since I moved to NY four years ago, I have started to see garbage as small creatures. Everywhere I go they are waiting for me. I pass by and they want to talk with me.
I think this is based on an Asian mentality. ( also I use a lot of ephemeral materials to make a meaning for nothing) Especially in Japan, we have many spirits in our everyday life. Even if an object doesn’t have a mind, its spirit affects me. This idea gives me a different point of view when observing things.
One day I was thinking that…. ages ago every human would hunt or forage for materials outside (animals are still living the same way). I decided to go outside looking for ideas and material to make my work. This is how my “PET” and “kite project” came out of my head.
Image: Miwa Koizumi, “plastic water bottles”, from the PET project, installation view at sawaguzo at Redux, 2005
My work deals with memory and perception within cluttered spaces. I begin by photographing interiors such as basements, workshops, and storage spaces, places where everything is jumbled and time becomes ambiguous without the presence of people. From these photographs I construct a view and then I draw freehand without erasing. As I correct “mistakes” the work results in double or multiple lines, which reflect how my perception has changed over time and makes me question my initial perception. Paradoxically, greater concentration and more lines make the drawn objects less clear. The more I see, the less I believe in the accuracy or reality of the images I draw.
Image courtesy of the artist