Shizuka Yokomizo (Artist)

Born in Tokyo in 1966, this artist graduated with a Master’s in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 1995. Since then she has made London her base, making use of the distinctive features of photography and videography to create works that draw attention to relationships between self and other. Yokomizo shoots primarily photographs of people, questioning the way of being and construction of others irreducible to herself. While searching for invisible, internalized elements in her subjects, she references universal questions of awareness and existence. Her previous works include Sleeping (1995-1997), in which her subjects are friends photographed while they are asleep; Stranger (1998-2000), in which she records chance encounters with strangers with whom she exchanges no words; and all (2008-2010), in which her theme is images’ fiction and reality. In recent years, she has focused on the origins and occasions of images, weaving an anthropological perspective into photographs whose allusions point elsewhere than portraits of human subjects. Since the year 2000, her major exhibitions include Roppongi Crossing (2010) at the Mori Museum of Art, Artist File (2015) at the National Art Center, Tokyo, Japanese Photography from Postwar to Now (2016) at the Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, the 10th Yebizo International Festival for Art and Alternative Visions (2018) at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, and the MAM Collection 011 (2019) at the Mori Museum of Art.

March 9, 2021

Today/Yesterday #2

This column is the second in a series by artist Yokomizo Shizuka, who lives in London. She weaves together photographs and text to show us what she sees through her windows as the everyday changes dramatically. In this second column, her topic is the sense of “waiting,” in the everyday before and after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

 

From my kitchen window I can see the huge conifer in my next door neighborʼs garden. During the day, the shadow of that huge tree falls mostly on our side. During the lockdown, we were blessed with good weather so that when the sun was out, the girls who live next door would bring out their deck chairs and sunbathe in their garden, all day long.

As spring turned into early summer, lots of birds flocked to that big conifer. At the top are branches that somewhat resemble the shape of a rooster weathervane. When I saw that a bird had happened to land on the branch that was like the head of the rooster, I would sit in my kitchen chair, invisible to the girls sunbathing below, and stare at the bird through my binoculars. The birds sitting on the branches were most often blackbirds or wrens, commonly seen birds. But the blackbird who was sitting at the top of the tall tree surveying the world around it, with the sky as its background, looked rather proud. When I open my window, I hear the sounds of children playing. The airplanes have disappeared from the sky. There is no noise from cars on the street. All I hear are the voices of the birds and the children, and the sounds of everyday life from next door. It feels so much like a summer holiday.

January 14, 2021

Shizuka Yokomizo|Today/Yesterday #1

Today/Yesterday is a series of columns written by London-based artist Shizuka Yokomizo.  She weaves together photographs and text to show us what she observes through her windows as the everyday gently changes. In this her first column, she tells us about a house in a West London neighborhood once known as an artists colony, where generations of artists have lived.