There’s a mindset I want to reach. I don’t trust the images in my head as they are, and I can’t escape the doubts in my mind.
This is what I have learned through repetition. And, this is how it should be.
Imagining what is on the other side of an image, even though it is a mere premonition: Will it feel good? Or will it leave us with feelings of unease or anxiety? I always want to be sensitive to these things.
When I’m in an invigorated and motivated mood, I’m waiting for something much more enjoyable, much more exciting than what I’m imagining inside my head at that moment. The mindset I want to reach is always there.
This work is an attempt to eat what my eyes cannot see and what my hands cannot grasp, and to put it in back into photos. And by repeating this, to gradually reach an understanding of myself and the world around me.
More than anything else, I want try to visualize what I don’t know. That’s the most exhilarating thing for me.
Entries form: Book, B1, 36 photos, inkjet prints
I was struck by the sheer size of these photos. Maybe it would be better if I said there’s a kind of spirit, one you can’t really summarize in words, emanating from each sheet, from each detail, and from the collection as a whole. That’s why every photo is inherently imponderable. And, therein lies their attraction. Generally, when you look at a photo, you tend to look for what it captures, but the more you look at these photos, the more the subject transforms into something else, like a body in continuous motion. The photos never cease changing form, their riddles unending. But, it’s perfectly fine not to know their ultimate true identity. The disruption of a dizzying image is enough for us. That’s what I meant by size. The strength of the unknown in this collection and the leap forward it represents left a profound impression and is wholly deserving of the Grand Prize.
Maya Akashika was born in Osaka in 1985 and won the Grand Prize at the 34th New Cosmos of Photography in 2011 for her work Eating Wind. Based in Osaka, she has held solo and group exhibitions in various places around the world.
She concocts inimitable story-worlds in which reality and fantasy intermingle, traversing a multitude of images — words, photos, pictures, and sounds that speak of dreams — in a synesthesia-evoking manner. Some of her most notable exhibitions include Twilight, Daylight: Contemporary Japanese Photography Vol. 17 (Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo, 2020) and Maya Akashika Photo Exhibition: Dokidoki Telepathy (Canon Gallery, Tokyo, 2021).