Miho Kajioka

Miho Kajioka (1973) lives and works in Japan.

In her lates series Kajioka focusses on the order of time. For a long time she has been fascinated by this theme. According to Kajioka, photography captures moments and freezes them; displaying prints is like playing with the order of time. ‘I want to be confused with the sense of time in a fun way. How can we be sure if tomorrow always comes after today or sometimes it already happened before today…
Well, let’s travel in time’. – Miho Kajioka

Kajioka became especially interested in this theme after reading Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s novel ‘Slaugtherhouse-five’. Like Vonnegut, Kajioka wonders if the order of time is always in the same chronology, or is it possible that past, present and future change in sequence?

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 and drawer than as a photographer. She feels that photographic techniques help her to create works that fully express her artistic vision. Her images evoke a sense of mystery in her constant search for beauty. 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 characterized by the specifically Japanese sense of beauty: wabi sabi. Wabi has been described as ‘serene attention to simple things’ and sabi as ‘beauty acquired through the patina of time’ as described by Huis Marseille in Amsterdam in their exhibition A beautiful Moment about Japanese photography.

Miho Kajika (b. 1973, Japan, lives in Kyoto) studied fine art in the United States and Canada and started her career as a journalist in her native country Japan. Since 2013 Kajioka’s work has been exhibited in Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Colombia, the USA, Germany and most recently in the United Kingdom at The Photographer’s Gallery in London.

Her book ‘And, where did the peacocks go?’ was selected as one of the 33 books in The Experts Selection at Kassel Photobook Award 2017, Kassel, Germany and longlisted for the Steidl Book Award in 2016, in Tokyo, Japan and shortlisted for the LUMA Dummy Book Award in Arles, France. In the beginning of September a new edition of the book ‘And, where did the peackocks go?’ will be published by The (M) éditions.

About her previous series: As it is:
Kajioka is for a long time 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.

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