July 28 to August 4
This summer I cannot go on vacation. A long distance flight back to Japan to see my dad might not be a good idea unfortunately. I have a little more time so I dig out my archives. It makes me feel like I’m travelling far away. In fact, it’s a good chance to look back the past. Not only these past years, but also the old days that we don’t really know. It’s like discovering an alternative future.
July 21 to July 28
Where are we going now ?
Photography, 2020 © Kyoko Kasuya
July 14 to July 21
It was the end of May. People had started to once again take public transport in Paris. It was raining slightly. I was waiting for a friend at an exit of a metro station. While waiting, I observed people as usual. Controllers inside of the entrance gate. Their presence gave us some pressure. We were wearing our masks tightly. A little boy 5 or 6 years old and his mother had joined a queue to buy tickets. Only one vending machine was available. Others were out of order. In front of them, there were five peoples waiting. The boy was talking to his mom seriously. I was listening.
He said, « Corona virus is not coming from animals, not bats. It is not even coming from China. God sent it to us. »
When I heard this, I couldn’t believe my ears.
June 30 to July 7
Since the lockdown is over in France mid May, people are trying to make it up to what they couldn’t do or what they lost, but I can’t. My mind is still away and I’m searching some utopia where I can breathe calmly. Before this corona problem occurred, I feel like I was pushing myself hard. Once the thread loosens, I really can’t be what I was used to be. As artist, I even don’t want to go back to museums. I just want to feel the wind breezing and green leaves dancing with sparkling sunlight.
June 16 to June 23
L’hymne à l’amour
During this quarantine, we couldn’t go anywhere except for grocery shopping. I’d been staying in my small flat in Paris. Meanwhile, in order to escape from this reality, I often thought of the wonderful places I had been to so far, and the places I can’t return to immediately. In the summer of 2012, I participated in an artist residency program for the first time in Gunma, Japan. At that time I was still an art student in France, but took my summer to undertake the residency. This village in Gunma prefecture was not too far from Tokyo. Mountains surrounded it. The valley was enveloped in fog in the morning. The river had such clear water that one couldn’t imagine the pollution from the copper mine seeping poison down it over 100 years ago.
I could draw a deep breath from nature there, in a way that you wouldn’t normally feel in the West. People engaged in agriculture, especially rice. There was another timeline in place that couldn’t compare to a busy capital or even other places I’d previously visited. There was a well-balanced harmony between nature and humans, which was simple and very modest. The clear air blew away the humidity and the intense heat of a typical Japanese summer. However, I heard that most young people left this place, the locals didn’t have any successors for maintaining this land. In the near future, this village would disappear with the death of the old agriculturists. I think of them again from here.
L’hymne à l’amour, performance with Shinonome (daybreak) chorus group, 2’36, Gunma Japan, 2012. This work was created for the occasion of Watarase Art Project.
Correction of English text by Melissa Ryke
June 2 to June 9
Extract from Prémonition, series of Photography, 2010-2011
This work was created in Tokyo and the suburb 3 months before the Great East Japan Earthquake that caused tsunami and the accident of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.
May 26 to June 2
25 05 2020
Detention for two months. I have continued to live in the urban desert, I am able to return to forest again.
I watch deep shadows made by trees. Finally I breathe. I feel alive.
May 5 to May 12
Le confinement le 3 mai 2020
Je me suis dirigée vers un quartier très touristique. Il y avait beaucoup moins de monde ici. Par contre aujourd’hui de nombreux policiers faisaient la surveillance. Je n’ai pas osé à les photographier car j’ai largement dépassé le rayon d’un kilomètre. Payer 135€ d’amende aurait pu être vraiment pénible. Beaucoup de jogger aussi. Il y avait une ambiance quasiment déconfinée, mais le temps changeait à un rythme assez vertigineux. Le ciel restait menacant.
April 21 to April 28
During this quarantine, I often wake up in the middle of the night around 3am. I stay up to do something. In a morning, I saw lights changing subtly between the window shade and I opened it. The sky was changing so faster. Less pollution in Paris made this scenery. I live here over 7 years but never seen this before.
Kyoko Kasuya is a Japanese multidisciplinary Artist living in Paris, France. Crossing the great earthquake of Japan and nuclear accident of Fukushima in 2011 between France and her native country, she started observing contemporary society in detail while examining her own Japanese identity. Her work opens up a questioning about sociological and historical subjects through the shifting of existing views thus contributing to a universal understanding.