The Corridor of Memories >>
Seiji Shinohara, Director, Gallery ART SPACE
Gallery Sowaka, Kyoto, March 27 - April 1, 2001
Upon entering Ryo Hamada's exhibition room, viewers can perceive a strong sense of color. The 103 works cover the two side walls and the front wall of the space. They are mainly oblong, rectangular, colored, two-dimensional works, and vary in size (they can be roughly divided into three different sizes: approximately 40x26cm, 36x26cm and 22x15cm). Her works are deliberately photographed greatly out of focus, and depict scenes found in cities: roads, streetlights, electric wires, and automobiles. Other scenes she captures are those such as the inside of a room (one work shows a seated person, while another shows a person by a window); white clouds drifting in the sky; and a red sky dyed by the slanting rays of sunlight. These photos are taken so that the concrete forms of objects are as indistinguishable as possible. They are then color copied and placed on panels. After this process, they are coated with a semi-transparent medium in order to further change the images. These images all extend to the sides of the panels, and each individual work is created so that it represents a specific scene. In addition to these works, thirteen objects (ranging in size from six to fifteen centimeters) that have also been enclosed in semi-transparent resin, such as telephone parts and a lighter, are arranged on the walls as if they are threading their way among the two-dimensional works.
The artist's intention is to severely eliminate the original images from the scenes and objects she utilizes in the two types of works. Therefore, Hamada’s works are significantly transformed from scenes and objects that exist in reality to those that only convey vague impressions, as if they only exist within one's memory. However, the space created by incorporating the group of objects, which seem to represent one of her trivial memories from her daily life, conveys a different impression to viewers than would the individual works that compose the exhibition. The colors and images of the individual works capture one's eye one after the other while walking and viewing the works on the walls of the venue. Viewed this way, they blend together in one's mind and are created into a unified image. However, if we were to change the method of viewing the works, such as to view them from a reverse route, or at a faster or slower pace, the impression we would perceive from her works would slightly change. This is because by exhibiting a multiple number of objects, each one provoking various perceptions due to our not being able to focus on the subject of each work, a new story is generated. The factor transforming the story into a new one is made possible through the different combinations of objects and the different orders of display.
The peculiarity of the space created by Ryo Hamada's works is that each of us can originate our own stories in our own minds by being able to freely select and gather the artist's memories and images, which are casually manifested one after another before our eyes.
(Translated by Taeko Nanpei)