Yoshinori Marui has been walking many places in Japan to photograph with a large format camera since around 2000 in attempting to take a second look at his country “Japan” with his own eyes. “This is” says Marui “the beginning of revising my image of the world.”
There is one place special to Marui among where he ever visited. It is Okinawa. For him, Okinawa is a place of multiple aspects. Okinawa means his hometown if he considers Okinawa as a unit of present nation. On the other hand, Okinawa seems foreign land if he considers it by historical and cultural aspects. He feels that Okinawa is a place like yoke that connects not only to him of the present day, but also present Japan as well as its long history, so he is visiting there repeatedly to photograph.
Okinawa has a lot of ups and downs in its history. In ancient times, Kingdom of Ryukyu grew own culture by international trade including China, Japan, Korea, and East Asian countries. It was obliged to belong to Japan. Okinawa was the only inhabited part of Japan where ground fighting took place during the world war the 2nd. Okinawa’s reversion to Japanese administration after placed under U.S. rule was in 1972. Okinawa still has delicate and complex issues including U.S. military base. Marui faces Okinawa that plays a role of the key connecting Japan in the modern, recent period, as well as present day.
There is a complex terrain formed by coral at the coastline from Cape Kyan to Mabuni in the south of Kyan peninsula in Okinawa. Marui walks the coastline and continues to capture the surface of coastline, as if he traces the terrain itself, where signs of people at the mercy of history remain.
Okinawa has a long history from mythological age of Niraikanai through to present day. The tide comes and goes repeatedly at this island, the sun is shining on the waves, and the moon lights seashore. The coastline sweeps away in front of Marui, at where logic of the strong and the weak surrounding Okinawa was knotted and complicated history was deposited.
At the exhibition, around 30 chromogenic prints are shown.
Born in Osaka, Japan, 1973. Graduated from General Design Course, Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, 1996. Graduated from Research Course, Tokyo College of Photography, 1997. Assistant Professor at the Department of Photography, Faculty of Arts, Tokyo Polytechnic University since 2006
Selected one-person exhibitions: “Disappearance” Gallery Floor 2 (Tokyo 1996), “Sight” Kaneko Art Gallery (Tokyo 1998), “Recent Works” Gallery QS (Tokyo 1999), “Recent Works” exhibit LIVE (Tokyo 2002), “Recent Works” Gendai HEIGHTS Gallery Den (Tokyo 2002), “The Map” exhibit LIVE (Tokyo 2003), “Okinawa” exhibit Live & Moris (Tokyo 2005)