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Chino Otsuka, Arrival

Chino Otsuka, Arrival (2016), photograph with archival image (NNM 2001-28-2-4: A picture bride photo of Kinori Oka, Nikkei National Museum) [Nikkei National Museum, Burnaby BC, Jun 11-Sep 4]

Chino Otsuka: Arrival

Nikkei National Museum
Burnaby BC – Jun 11-Sep 4, 2016

Otsuka is best known for a 2005 project entitled Imagine Finding Me, where the artist digitally montaged photographs of her adult self with those of her childhood self. What makes this series more than a gimmick is Otsuka’s ability to convince the viewer of a liminal space between ascribed relationships (mother, daughter, sister, aunt) and those we achieve throughout the course of our lifetime (friend, teacher, student, client).

For her current exhibition, inspired by a 2014 residency at the Nikkei archives, the UK-based Otsuka has produced an immersive multi-channel installation that combines new photographs with those of young Japanese women who came to Canada as “picture brides” in the early 20th century. Also included are the personal belongings of four of these brides.

As with Otsuka’s earlier work, Arrival succeeds in the creation of a new space, one that “capture[s] the time of anticipation, hope and adventure” that these young women experienced as they left home for parts unknown, but also its darker side of disappointment and, invariably, hardship. Making this work particularly relevant to younger audiences is how similar the “picture bride” phenomenon is to what is presently available through social media marriage sites the world over.

nikkeiplace.org

Michael Turner

Chino Otsuka, photograph with archival image of Japanese prospective brides on board a ship, ca. 1905

Chino Otsuka, photograph with archival image of Japanese prospective brides on board a ship, ca. 1905 (Collection of Japanese Canadian National Museum [97/200a-b]) [Nikkei National Museum, Burnaby BC, Jun 11-Sep 4]



 Thu, Jun 9, 2016