Inês Bonduki, São Paulo, SP, 1984. – Lives and works in São Paulo.
São Paulo, Brazil, 1979. – Lives and works between Tokyo and Chiba, Japan.
PIPA Prize 2020 nominee .
In February of 2018, Yukie received an email from Inês with an unusual invite: to create pairs of images taken simultaneously from São Paulo and from Tokyo, arranging the time via WhatsApp. Her initial idea was to approximate images with close temporalities but distant spatialities. Throughout the development of the project, the process was acquiring other rhythms, new contrasts, multiple meetings and conversations.Testing shapes and editing, the abundant material accumulated during the visual conversation between the artists was condensed in 10 vertical panels specially produced for the PIPA Institute collection.
About the artists:
Inês Bonduki is a photographer, artist, professor and researcher. Architect by FAU-USP, and PhD in Visual Arts by the ECA-USP. She is interested in the frictions between experience, body, displacement and image. Has works exhibited and published in Brazil and abroad, and received awards such as Conrado Wessel, Foto em Pauta, among others. Lives in São Paulo but likes to connect with distant places.
Yukie Hori is a visual artist, graphic designer and researcher. Holds a bachelor’s and a masters degrees in Visual Arts from ECA-USP and a PhD in Visual Arts from the Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan. Believes to be an artist-essist-zuihitsuka which, in an erratic way, researches topics of varied interest, testing different plastic solutions that stress the relationship between space, time, narrative, reception. She participates in national and international exhibitions and artistic residencies and she received the following awards: “V Prêmio Diário Contemporâneo de Fotografia” (2014), “VI Prêmio de Artes Plásticas Marcantonio Vilaça e Rede Nacional Funarte” (2011), UNESCO – Aschberg Bursary Program for Artists (2011), among others. Lives in Japan since 2015, but is in constant contact with Brazil.
About the artwork
While Inês took pictures in night strolls around São Paulo, Yukie photographed a sunny day at Ueno park. Following this simple daily procedure in opposite places of the planet, Inês and Yukie exchanged images from March of 2018 until June of 2020, allowing an encounter of dichotomous temporalities: Brazilian summer night and Japanese winter day, Brazilian autumn day and Japanese spring night.
“De noite penso no dia, de dia penso na noite / 夜は昼を思い、昼は夜を思う(Yoru ha hiru wo omoi, hiru ga yoru wo omou)” revealed possible or unlikely visual dialogues in poetic juxtapositions of images from diverse everyday routines: glances, places, weathers, subjects, lights.
Seeking a concise way of presenting the 2-and-a-half-years visual dialogue between Inês and Yukie, the exhibiting project proposes a set of ten kakejikus or suspended rolls. The kakejiku is a traditional medium for Japanese painting or calligraphy and is often displayed in the tokonoma, an alcove inside a Japanese house specially designed for viewing precious objects.
With the exception of the first (the work’s title calligraphy by the reverend Kõbun Yamagishi, abbot of the Taineiji Buddhist Temple) and the last one (pandemic), each roll features a group of images taken on the same day and in two opposite seasons of the year.
The choice of using the kakejiku as the work’s medium was due to two reasons: the verticality, which relates to the scrolling of instant messages exchanged daily between the artists; and the portability, similar to the book’s, by allowing to be rolled up to storage and transporting.
Closer to PIPA: the artist speaks in the Institute collection
In addition to the text above, Yukie and Inês’ participation in Closer to PIPA also included a small interview with the artists. Check out below:
Which criteria did you use to select, among so many, the images that would be in the kakejikus?
Inês: Each roll represents the images exchanged during a season of the year, for example, winter in Japan 2019 / summer in Brazil 2019. From the images produced in this season, we chose sets that we liked the most (four images from the same day) based on diverse and subjetive criteria, such as the harmony between them, the memory of an experienced situation, an important historic moment etc. The images that entered [the kakejikus] small are of messages exchanged between us via Whats App in the said season.
In this process of a dialogue between distant spatialities, beyond the temporalities, what were the connecting points that you noticed? And what were the distancing points, besides the physical space?
Inês: To me, the transformation of my perception in relation to my own daily life was striking. I started to see Japan in everything. In my house I discovered Japanese slippers and a Japanese pumpkin; I walked down the street and noticed Japanese people multiplying around me. Over time, Yukie’s way of seeing things (which came with the images) started to influence me: I feel that I learned from her a fun and delicate way of looking, and that our views were coming closer. Over time, I produced images for her in dialogue with the images that had arrived.
Yukie: At the beginning of the project I felt the need to show to Inês my life in Japan, so I sought to portray more characteristic cultural details, such as having some kind of text in the images or something that would refer to Japanese religiosity. At the same time, I felt a certain struggle to photograph my daily life: “what will I photograph today if there’s nothing visually interesting…”. But over time, inspired by Inês’ vision, I started diving into the project.
We felt the distancing during the editing of the images. This process would have been much more pleasant and dynamic if we could have been together offline, putting the printed images over a table, getting the overall vision of the sequence. We did that only once, when I was in Brazil. But the majority of the editing was apart, exchanging PDFs and sharing screens.
Do you have any story about the process of the work, including difficulties in the making or any specific episode that happened in that daily routine?
Yukie: There was a funny episode: one day I received a WhatsApp message from Inês: “UK! I just arrived…”. And together with the topic concerning the project (we were planning an exhibition at that time), I’d insert comments referring to England. And she answered everything with some strangeness. After some days I asked what time it was for her and the answer was the same routine key of the 12 hours difference between Brazil and Japan. In that moment I finally realized that she wasn’t in England and that that initial message was a typo. “UK” was in fact “YUK”.
Another “difficulty” was my adjustment to Inês’ time zone: I’d always mistake the day and time of our video calls because I kept the habit of calculating the time as if someone in Brazil was talking to someone in Japan, something that was very common in my life in São Paulo, and I’d always start the call 12 hours too soon…
Online communication is a key factor in our project. And comparing our time with the 80’s, a Japanese professor, recalling a trip he made to Brazil, commented how difficult it was to call Japan or to send film rolls, which took months to arrive at its destination. Pointing out the relevance of our process, he also noted that, in some way, we were anticipating the predominant way of working in the pandemic.