See-through Eyes

Photo by ANZAÏ


About the artwork

Before ten oversize lanterns placed throughout an uninhabited house, visitors sit facing vivid photo-portraits, each representing a single family’s multiple generations. The viewer’s eyes momentarily align with eyes of the unmoving exterior portrait superimposing on the rotating interior portrait. In this singular moment, past, present and future “see through eyes.” The viewer becomes a meeting point for the palpable force of family ties—land and people as ancient, yet present, community. This austere viewing intends to invite a sudden, radical presence, the very spirit of ancestors (tamashii), somehow “showing.” Living in the house, the artist recorded the neighbors’ memories of life past, later played back as emanations from the attic. People gathering by the lanterns brought new vitality to an old house and a community where depopulation was painfully in evidence.


Artwork no. T070
Production year 2003
Area Tokamachi
Village Minamiabuzaka
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