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Tomoko Yoneda:An End is A Beginning
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Published: November 06 2008

"Wedding - View of the wedding party on the river that divides North Korea and China, Dandong, China" (2007) C-type print, 76.0x96.0cm (from Scene), Courtesy ShugoArts copy right(c) 2007 Tomoko Yoneda

Tomoko Yoneda is an internationally active photographer currently based in London. Last year, she participated in the 52nd Venice Biennale. In this exhibition, she presents her latest series of works "The Parallel Lives of Others-Encounter with Sorge Spy Ring" to the public for the first time, as well as her representative series "Scene and Between Visible and Invisible", and "After the Thaw", which may be considered an extension of the Scene series. Also included is "Topographical Analogy", a series created early in her career in which her signature style as a photographer is clearly evident. This solo exhibition is the first one to present a comprehensive overview of her work to date. As a photographer, Yoneda is loyal to photography as a medium for observing and recording a subject. In her continuing series "Scene" (1998-), the photographs she takes are seemingly of mountains, beaches and urban scenes. These sites, however, are actually the settings of historical events that link to collective memories in terms of nation, race and society, such as, former battlefields of the World War I and II. The significance of each place, however, is apparent only from the title; what is revealed by the picture is merely a banal landscape. Monuments are often erected at public spots to allow the memory of an historical event or person to be shared. Such “memory-evoking devices” are either missing or hard to find at the sites depicted in Scene. Nonetheless, these places are indelibly etched by the historical moment or memory. This way of “seeing the invisible” may be said to be the defining trait of Yoneda’s photography. When viewers become aware of this, they may begin to sense something strangely disquieting in the tranquil scenes presented to them. They may also rediscover through Yoneda’s work an appreciation for the power of the camera lens to express individual points of view. * Hara Museum of Contemporary Art.

Last Updated on September 12 2008

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