Saori (2016~2019)

  • Facebook Basic Black
  • Twitter Basic Black
  • Instagram Basic Black

Exhibition at Paddington Town Hall, main venue of Head on Photo Festival (Sydney, Australia) in 2018.

Exhibition at Paddington Town Hall, main venue of Head on Photo Festival (Sydney, Australia) in 2018.

Exhibition at Paddington Town Hall, main venue of Head on Photo Festival (Sydney, Australia) in 2018.

Artist Book "Saori".

Artist Book "Saori".

中島千磁さん、61歳。東京のアパートで恋人の沙織と暮らし始めてもう6年になる。ふたりは毎週末デートに出かけ、同じベッドで毎晩眠り、甘い言葉を囁き交わす。他のカップルと唯一違う点は、沙織がシリコン製のラブドールであるということだ。

中島さんは既婚で2人の子どもがおり、仕事の関係で長らく単身赴任を続けている。沙織との関係が始まったのは6年前。

当初は孤独を埋める性的な目的で所有していた。初恋の彼女や過去の恋人のことを投影しながら沙織と暮らすこと幾月、中島さんは徐々に沙織に固有の人格を見出すようになる。まるでオイディウスの『変身物語』に登場する彫刻家ピュグマリオンが、象牙で彫られたガラテア像に生命を見出したように。

「彼女は決して裏切りません。損得勘定で人を見ない。現代人は合理的で、よっぽど心がない」

中島さんはそう語る。

「私にとって、沙織は人形以上の存在です。ただのシリコンの塊ではない。彼女は手がかかりますが、私と大切な時間を共に過ごしてくれ、人生を豊かにしてくれる理想の女性なのです。」

太古の昔から、人類は像をメディアとして、生きていないものや不在のものを想像し関わりを持ってきた。かつて中国の男がゴザに恋し、21世紀のフランスで女がエッフェル塔と結婚したように、ヒトでないものとの恋愛の逸話も数多ある。
私たちが本物だと信じている感情や心の動きの一切までが、洞窟の壁に投影された影像に過ぎなかったとしたら、

私たちは「本当の現実」なんてどうやって見抜けば良いのだろう

人間のあり方が目まぐるしく変わる今、私たちの前にはひとつの問いが置かれ、その切実さは日に日に増している。

生身のヒトと未来のイヴには、一体どんな違いがあるのだろう?

Senji Nakajima, 65 years old, has lived with his girlfriend 'Saori' in his house near Tokyo, Japan. They hang out, go shopping, and sleep in the same bed. The only thing different from any other couple is that Saori is a life-size 'love doll' made of silicone. Nakajima has a wife and two children, but at the age of 40, he left his family when he moved out for his work. At around 55, he bought a love doll to fill the loneliness of living alone. He used to imagine that the doll was his first girlfriend and used it for sexual purposes, but months later, he started to believe that Saori has her own personality, like the sculptor Pygmalion who fell in love with the ivory- made Galatea, in Ovidius's 'Metamorphoses' story. One day, a beautiful light shone upon the Konomasawa campground in Sagamihara city, and Saori began to move before Nakajima's eyes. After studying Shinto at university, Nakajima worked hard at the Jinja-Honcho (Japan Shrine Headquarter) and then at a hospital, but his life has changed to one centered on Saori. Since then, he has been in a family-approved love triangle.

'She never betrays me and isn't only after money. I'm tired of modern rational humans. They are heartless,' Nakajima says,

'for me, she is more than a doll, not just silicone rubber. She needs much help, but is still my perfect partner with whom I share precious moments and enriches my life.'

He imagines his former girlfriend when he holds her. He keeps a diary, sometimes writing as Saori and other times as himself. Plato once said that the world we sense is not the actual reality. The emotions that we perceive when we communicate with others may be nothing more than the idols that were drawn on the walls of a cave.

There have been many anecdotal descriptions of people falling in love with non-human objects.

There is a story of a man who fell in love with a straw mat in China, and in the 21st century, a woman fell in love and married the Eiffel Tower in France. In this modern era, where many objects with shapes and intelligence resembling those of humans have been produced, we are faced with the same question that becomes more profound each day.

What is the actual difference between love with a human being and love with a “Future Eve”?

(Some of the images were commissioned by Getty Images)

© 2021 Taro Karibe All rights reserved.

Exhibition at Paddington Town Hall, main venue of Head on Photo Festival (Sydney, Australia) in 2018.