Miho Kajioka (1973) lives and works in Japan. She is fascinated by how beauty and desolation can coexist simultaneously. This fascination stems from her work as a journalist. In 2011 Japan got hit by an earthquake and tsunami. Kajioka reported on this disaster in the city of Kamaishi, where more than 800 people had died. Here she spotted blooming roses beside a blasted building. That mixture of grace and ruin moved her. This moment resulted in the series As it is. These series consists of images of fragments of her daily life, from various periods and changing backdrops. The differences between the various fragments are limited, and it’s their similarities that are emphasized. Happiness, sadness, beauty and tragedy only exist in our minds. Everything is as it is.
In the series And where did the peacocks go? Kajioka deepened her fascination with beauty and tragedy. For this series Kajioka was inspired by the peacocks who stayed behind in the disaster area, after the nuclear plant in Fukushima, a result of the tsunami in 2011. As the artist explains: “I started imagining those peacocks, walking around the empty town with their beautiful wings spread. The image I had in my mind seemed so far away from what was going on in Fukushima. It was as if two different layers of images – the disaster scene and beautiful peacocks – were overlapping with each other without being unified.” With this series Kajioka shows that both tragedy and beauty always will be there.
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