The Second Stage at GG #44
“The Second Stage at GG” is a series of exhibitions presenting more recent works by former finalists in the gallery’s open competitions launched to promote budding artists in various fields. The 44th exhibition in the series, titled “Ayako, Metaphysical Studies,” will feature the works of Aya Fujioka. In 1996 Fujioka participated in the gallery’s “Human Streets” photography project with “Namida-tsubo” (Tear Bottle), a series of photos of herself; and in 2005 she was a finalist in the 24th “Hitotsubo” Photography Competition with works about her grandmother who went to Brazil as an immigrant. Since then, Fujioka has continually published her photographic works.
In this solo exhibition, Fujioka will show a selection of her works taken through the years, rearranged from a new perspective. Included will be works from: “Ayako Ekoda-kibun” (Ayako, Ekoda Feeling), photos of her early days after moving to Tokyo; “Rishu,” in which she traces her grandmother’s life in Sao Paulo; “Comme te dire adieu,” vignettes from her travels in Eastern Europe (Tallinn and Budapest); “I don’t sleep,” from her days passed in her home town of Kure; and “Life Studies,” which emerged from her four years living in New York.
The works Fujioka will be showing reflect her quiet and impressive approach to such varied subjects as the people she has encountered during her peregrinations through various countries, glimpses into their lives, members of her own family, flowers, hands, children and so on. Whether her photos represent works of fiction or non-fiction is unclear, but in Fujioka’s scenes imbued with a sense of deja-vu, a feeling co-exists that something is somehow wrong, and the viewpoint meanders freely as if she isn’t there. A universal response to the question of why Fujioka continues to take photographs, confronting the constantly changing realities before her, will perhaps rise to the surface here, transcending time and place.
Born in Hiroshima Prefecture in 1972. Graduated from Nihon University’s College of Art, where she majored in Photography. In 2008 Fujioka went to New York as a research scholar under the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Program of Study for Upcoming Artists. She returned to Japan in 2012, and today she resides in Hiroshima. Her photo collections published to date include “Comme te dire adieu” (Visual Art’s, 2004) and “Watashi wa nemuranai: I don’t sleep” (AKAAKA Art Publishing, 2009). In 2005 she was a finalist in the 24th “Hitotsubo” photography competition. In 2010 she won the Photographic Society of Japan’s Newcomer’s Award, and in 2016 she received the 41st Ina Nobuo Award.
Message from the Artist
I’m on a night safari, walking.
Everything around me is pitch dark—I can’t see anything. I take out my camera and start shooting blindly toward the darkness. Simultaneously the flash goes off and I proceed forward, my way illuminated.
Later, when I sift through my photos, I discover giraffes and elephants.
It’s then that I know for the first time the situation that enfolded me, and know the world my eyes had been unable to see. The experience of seeing what is visible only by taking photos, encounters of uncertainty, has over time become my life itself.