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Artist Statement:

I am developing works that serve as the media of “sympathy with the pain of others” based on concrete and specific social realities.

I studied psychology at university where I recognized how human thought and behavior are regulated by external environments. Through my involvement eradicating infectious diseases in UK and Rep. of South Africa and the understanding of economic dynamics I acquired while working at a financial institution, I began to recognize how the diversity of relationships between society and the individual differs through context.


At the beginning of my career I worked in photojournalism for domestic and overseas media, covering a wide range of subjects from earthquake disasters, to the daily life of minorities.  However I felt conflicted; the literal approach of photojournalism does not convey the actuality of a situation especially in this age when digital images are flooded. Thus I began to expand and experiment with different techniques of photographic expression. 


“Letters to You”(2018) is a work that represents Rohingya refugees seeking their missing families. The work deals with redundant and unnecessary information that is often ignored in the existing journalism. I am trying to raise questions on the possibility to solve problems more directly and on actions and behaviors by showing the reality of a person more effectively today and providing opportunities for the audience to directly intervene in the situation of that person (through sharing in the social media). The one-sided control of information dissemination by the existing news media and the awareness of information arbitrariness may lead to “INCIDENTS”(2018) that cause glitches on the LCD TV screen and distort the broadcasted program.


Mass media such as newspapers and TV, which functioned as the center of public commitment, are about to end such established roles in the modern era. Humans are becoming increasingly difficult to secondarily experience the actual lives of others through hearing due to fake technologies (phenomena) and fierce competition among companies for "attention", and we are only passing each day like addicts living in a hell chamber with no clues. Nevertheless, we must keep on connecting each voice that has lost its destination to a new commitment that can persist as long as possible, like a breakwater. We all live in an unpredictable world. All kinds of catastrophe that cannot be repelled by one’s own strength always appear suddenly, regardless of a person’s situation. Since we are always exposed to the possibility of catastrophe, I believe that it is necessary to set up a scaffold that shines its light to the future by having understanding each person’s life system through the eyes of others who have already experienced the conditions to enhance the resilience of mankind.

2019.11.17        Taro Karibe




ロヒンギャ難民がその行方不明の家族を探すありさまを形とした「Letters to You」(2018)では、既存のジャーナリズムでは冗長・不要として省かれる情報を扱っています。個人の実存のリアリティを今日的により有効な方法で提示しつつ、オーディエンスがその当事者の状況に直接介入できる余地(SNSシェア)を用意することで、より直接的な問題解決の可能性や、行為に対する問いも提起しようとしています。既存のジャーナリズム・マスメディアの一方的な情報コントロールやその恣意性に対する問題意識は、液晶テレビ画面にグリッチを生じさせ、その時放送されているプログラムを歪曲化する「INCIDENTS(偶景)」(2018)へと繋がっていきます。


2019.11.17        苅部 太郎

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