Artworks deal with the cognitive structure of human beings, “remembering” and “forgetting.” Human memory is defined as something very vague in the scientific world. Even memories we believe we have stored in our brains as facts are subjected to unconscious operations in various ways: they are altered or forgotten conveniently as months pass by, or mixed with another event. My interest is in such “memory process” viewed from the perspective of cognitive psychology.
My pictures look simple on the surface, but they are created through multiple-layered processes. With a photo for the base, I repeatedly “paint” and “erase” using different means--drawing with a pen, painting with mineral pigments, photo processing with image editing software--and after synthesizing the remaining traces, there is a finished work. The repetition of “painting” and “erasing” or “repainting” has a similar property to the way memories are overwritten and distorted from the fact. The base of my work is a very ordinary photo of people or a landscape, but that probably cannot be imagined from the finished work. It shows that memory is such a changeable thing. How an image gets through the long process of my painting and repainting and takes on a completely different appearance seems to me to depict the mechanism we have for perceiving the world.
CORRECT LANDSCAPES, the title of my recent series, has the parenthetic phrase “for me” following it. They are correct exclusively for me, the artist, and such correctness exists for as many people as there are people. As I said before, memory beautifies. It overwrites, alters, and partially erases the thing we have perceived or the experience we have had. Such thing cannot be called a fact, but it is something like a fiction. Created fictitious memory is defined by the term, “false memory,” in cognitive psychology. It means an event that never happened is perceived unconsciously as if it were a fact. That kind of thing is considered to happen as a self-protective instinct to maintain mental stability, even though the causes are various: internal, external, or other. It may be an altered memory, but it has a correctness for ourselves and we have some attachment to it, so it cannot be treated simply as a bad thing. I think it is not a matter of good or bad, but to try to understand such a function we have might be more meaningful.
A society is a collection of individuals. The “correctness” of society is formed by each person’s ideas coming together. Through my works, I continue to reflect on the society which is changing or someone is instigating to change.