We’re big believers here at Mylio in the concept of photograph as time machine. And so is fine art photographer Chino Otsuka. In the video below, she describes the concepts behind her project Imagine Finding Me, in which she digitally composites her present-day, adult self into childhood photos from the family album.
Such is Otsuka’s artistry that if you didn’t know what you were looking at, you’d think these were a series of non-descript snapshots, very much like those sitting sandwiched in their billions in binders and shoeboxes everywhere.
But they’re so not. Otsuka clearly understands the complex set of emotions old photos – especially old family photos – can trigger; she describes how such pictures show layers of time, and are vehicles for taking us on memory journeys.
“I think that’s exactly what you do when you look at the family album; that’s what you do in your mind. There’s so many different layers, so many mental time travels that go on inside your head. To a certain extent I was able to show that in an image, in a very simplistic form.”
The results are at once quiet, unpretentious, poetic verging on mystical, and it-just-slowly-seeps-in powerful. Place yourself in such a photo. What would that be like? Otsuka sums up her thoughts in this poem, frontispiece to the project:
I have a chance to meet,
there is so much I want to ask
and so much I want to tell