Mayuko Sato won the 14th “1_WALL” Photography Competition with her photographs in which she projected her own feelings into her friends. She received kudos from the judging panel for what were hailed as her accurate expressions of the boredom and sense of entrapment felt by today’s younger generation. One judge stated that in Sato’s works the reality of photography is conveyed to the viewer.
Sato’s friends and she herself are photographed in everyday scenes – a haphazardly arranged furniture sales floor, the sparsely decorated waiting room of a public pool, a bleakly appointed room in a cheap apartment house, etc. – creating a sense of otherworldly displacement. Sato first draws a storyboard, conveys her concept to the person who will serve as her model, and then photographs. Later, she digitally edits her photos and transforms them into the images she has in mind. Sato’s photos are created as an outlet for her frustrations in life and her personal desires – the desire to stay young forever or to be loved by someone – and in them we find the life-size reality of the anguish felt by the 23-year-old artist herself.
This exhibition will center on four series: “That’s all,” with which she won the Grand Prize, plus three that she subsequently photographed: “No more,” “Still young in body” and “For use at night.” On February 9 (Thu), Mayuko Sato will take part in a talk event with art director Atsuki Kikuchi as her guest. The theme will be “Talking about being in one’s twenties: Seeking advice as to what to do to make a living.”
Born in Tokyo in 1993, raised in Saitama Prefecture.
Attended Kuwasawa Design School.
In 2016, won Grand Prize in the 14th “1_WALL” Photography Competition.
Message from the Artist
From the moment I was born straight to now, I’ve had an outrageous number of desires: a desire to do something this way, a desire to become that way, a desire to not do this, or a desire not to become like that.
But though it’s all about me, at times I don’t clearly understand what I want to do. And at times I just go with the flow, still not understanding. Then again, there are times when I know exactly what I want but my desire can’t be fulfilled. At times like that, I ponder what I might do to have my desire fulfilled, or what I should do to feel satisfied, or how I might escape from such stress.
I photographed what I have felt between 2015 and 2016, divided into various themes. I hope visitors will like what they see.
Message from One of the Judges
The people in Sato’s photos are her friends, or she herself. No matter how you look at them, they are typical everyday snapshots. Her camera, she says, is the “on-site director” of a camera exclusively for “construction use.” But as we keep looking at her photographs, we come to realize beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are realistic expressions of what she felt, and feels now, as a 23-year-old. It’s a feeling of a time when the desire or hope to be a certain way has been stripped away from the outset, leaving her left behind someplace. In Sato’s photos are clearly reflected the spectacle of Japan dangling loosely five years after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Kotaro Iizawa (photography critic)
Organizer: Guardian Garden
Cooperation: FUJIFILM Corporation