Now open at Club LA and Gallery, curated by Fuyuko ‘冬子’ Amano (Wintergeist) is The Way I Feel a selection of images from the portfolio of MisaKaory. I’m actually getting to this review a little late, as the invitation got buried in my inventory, and so offer apologies to Misa and Fuyuko; but I do recommend a visit before it draws to a close.
“Photography gives me a lot of emotions,” Misa says of her work. “Sometimes it is too exhausting, when you can not sleep at night because you keep thinking of some idea for a photo. It seems the idea came and you get it all together and press the shutter, but you are still dissatisfied. So you keep looking through the viewfinder to find the right angle, lighting, waiting for the moment… And then suddenly, here it is! Often it is a completely random person that you have caught in the frame, a bird or a gust of wind. The feeling that you get after taking the photo you like is just wonderful! The world that we see is infinite, but we remember only some moments that have given us a strong impression.”
Impression is certainly the word I would use with the images she has selected for exhibition here. There are all powerfully emotive and rich in story. A total of 19 pieces are displayed, ranging from black-and-white through monochrome shades to colour, with multi-panel images are mixed with individual pieces (note that some at the back which might be considered NSFW). The result is an exhibit which demonstrates not only the range of Misa’s photography, but also her sense of art and balance in putting an exhibition together; even the positioning of the sofas and cloth-draped table has been carefully considered.
The emotional impact of these pieces hits you as soon as you enter the gallery, thanks to the mirrored pairing of babe asleep and bald woman lying with eyes closed (seen at the top of this article). So much is conveyed by the two: the indelible link between a mother and her baby; the innocence of new birth reflected in the bald pate and unlined face of the woman; the echo of that subtle, womb-like feeling we get when caught on the divide between wakefulness and sleep. And then there is the eye casually held under the woman’s hand; a subtle note that we are perhaps voyeurs encroaching on the private worlds of woman and babe.
Facing these two images is a line of four pieces running from black-and-white through monochrome shades back to black and white. They are all extraordinary in the depth of feeling they imbue as we are instantly drawn into the stories they tell. The desire to shout a warning to the girl sitting against the tree in the first one is almost palpable, such is the sense of menace conjured by the shadowy male form coming towards her. The remaining three evoke equally powerful responses.
I could write a lot more, but this really is an exhibition deserving to be seen, not described. The Way I Feel presents images which are both intensely personal but because of their emotional content, are immediately empathic. We can immediately identify with the hope, passion, love, fear, loneliness, regret, joy and more captured within them; the impression they make is almost palpable, remaining with us after we leave the gallery space.
Another highly recommended exhibition.
- Club LA and Gallery (Amaro, rated: Moderate)