Terada Mayumi, born in Tokyo and presently based in New York, has, since 2000, been producing photographic works using a unique method that involves the construction of miniature rooms or furniture followed by photographing them with natural light.
Windowsills, curtains waving in the breeze, plates on a table, a wrinkled sheet on a bed, all look like real scenery at first glance. But as we gaze at the photographs, a distinctive beauty enveloped in an intriguing strangeness begins to reveal itself. A major theme in Terada's photographic art is the “existence of absence” revealed through traces that have been left there by someone related to the place. The source of motivation for the series, Terada says, is the desire to possess her own memories. From them she conjures up elements and arranges them within her works, creating miniatures and taking pictures. Creating and showing them as art is, she says, a way to transfer a sole possession to a shared one as a tool of communication with others.
When beginning her career as an artist in the 1980s, Terada's theme was “What is a photographic sculpture?” and proceeded to produce works constructed of transparent plastics exhibiting a contrast between light and shadow. In 1985 she was awarded the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum Prize at the 17th Contemporary Art Exhibition of Japan for her large-scale (more than 2 meters high) sculpture titled “Jumper Johns.” Terada also produced an “underwear series” using molds cast from human bodies and creating life-sized plastic underwear. She subsequently constructed a trial model of a door and photographed it, intending to use it for the invitation card for her 2001 exhibition, at which time she shifted the medium to miniatures and photographs. Terada has continued to focus on light and shadow, as if, she says, she was sculpting them into the pictures.
In this first-time solo exhibition at Kamakura Gallery, 20 photographs produced between 2001 and 2009 will be on display.