Working on different objects in Brig to get ready for the exhibition in July.
I arrived in Switzerland one week before the lockdown facing not only the pandemic but also a three month isolation in my apartment and studio. Fortunately the residence was located in the old castle of Kaspar Stockalper built in the 17th century. On the bright side I could start working for my solo exhibition ‘Prosthetic Memories’ without any distraction. My focus was on wearable paper sculptures, taxidermy objects and some Covid related drawings. The residency lasted until August with the main exhibition in July when public events were possible again.
Born in isolation, the project “Prosthetic Memories” was originally inspired by Max Frisch’s story: Man appears in the Holocene. “Disasters are known only by man, nature knows no disasters” writes the author. His protagonist, alone in a valley in Ticino, he deals with the loss of memory in the narrative.
The silk store in Onishi was transformed into a cultural gathering by Shiro Oni Studio. Working on my paper garments at the place also inspired me to start a silkworm farm.
This time in my second hometown Onishi I was showing the output of my three month of work. On display were five different garments at the Kinuya building. It is a cultural hub in and a former silk trader shop about 300 metres from my own house I bought a couple of month later.
A month before I was part of the group show with three of the same garments. This exhibition by all the artists of the Shiro Oni residency was held in the old sake brewery.
The experience in Daegu was shared with some Korean artists who also happened to share a residency space at that very same moment. And then I was lucky enough to team up with Adam a very gifted visual artist from Ireland. Under all the circumstances which some times made it not always easy for me as a foreign woman in Korea, Adam was my rock I always could hold on. The portrait sessions had some kind of special twist as I happened to create also transcultural garments which referred to Japanese and Korean history and methods of expression. This cultural crossover was quite delicate and not easy to handle as some tensions seem to be still unsolved.
My first time in Korea started about three month after I left Shanghai. So actually I had to come to Seoul for some visa issues before but now I was invited for a three month residency. The exhibition took place at the end of my stay in a dedicated venue. This gave me due its space also the opportunity to create a performance with some of my garments I created in Korea. Alex, a fellow artist and the only non-Korean I met in this time became the protagonist in the play. Some of the Korean artists I learned to know were educated in German language which was a great relief for the opening. In retrospect it was a fine show with quite an audience which also led to a second exhibition in Busan a couple of weeks after this show.
Most of these photographs represent not only some wonderful friends but also the vivid community of the town of Onishi. When I first met the people and the setting in rural Japan in 2015, I immediately fell in love. The host of the residency, American born Kijel Hahn became a very close friend over the years. It is the setting of the town beneath the green hills and the local people as the recurring artists from all over, who makes this place so special.
It was my first time in Asia, a short week in Hongkong. I made some experiments for LOMO Vienna with one of their panorama cameras, the Horizon. Exploring the city by foot with a huge effort and at the end of the last day we had blisters on our feet. Furthermore it was my first time to shoot strangers in the streets without their knowledge. I was always used to go up to the people and ask their permission. A new experience and a fine way to learn about the city and its people.