IBASHO is presenting the second solo exhibition at the gallery of the Japanese photographic artist Miho Kajioka.
On the 11th of March, 2011, a catastrophic tsunami and a nuclear disaster shook Japan. At that time Kajioka worked as a journalist for TV-news and documentaries and she visited the area for the first time one day after the disaster happened, not as an artist but as a journalist.
After having studied painting and photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, Kajioka felt that - although she was a technically good artist - something important was missing: maturity. She decided to focus on learning about the world and life by working in several jobs, travelling and meeting many people.
Working in the Fukushima area just after the tsunami for several weeks during several years and covering many intense and heavy stories, Kajioka also found a little beauty, kindness and humour which she would not have noticed in normal, daily life. To her, it felt like hope and that is what she wanted to share, not by making TV-documentaries, but by making art.
In Fukushima Kajioka found her voice as an artist when she kept remembering this image in her head of those beautiful peacocks amidst all the destruction. As of that moment she decided to focus on creating artworks showing that beauty can be found in small things.
Kajioka's artistic practice is in principal snapshot based; she carries her camera everywhere and intuitively takes photos of whatever she finds interesting. These collected images serve as the basic material for her work in the darkroom where she creates her poetic and suggestive image-objects through elaborate, alternative printing methods. Kajioka regards herself more as a painter/drawer than as a photographer. She feels that photographic techniques help her to create works that fully express her artistic vision. The focused, creative and respectful way in which she uses the medium of photography to creating her works seems to fit in the tradition of Japanese art that is characterised by the specifically Japanese sense of beauty of the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete, wabi-sabi.
The exhibition ‘… and yes, I still hear the peacocks’ not only serves as an overview of Kajioka’s career since she found her direction as an artist in 2011, but also shows her future direction with her newest works in different shapes and colours.