A portrait of "Tokyo" that draws people through the window
Yoshiyuki Okuyama's new photo book "windows" is a series of about 100,000 opaque glass windows taken in Tokyo over a period of two and a half years from April 2020 to November 2022. This book contains 724 photographs from these photographs taken by Okuyama using a digital camera for the first time.
Okuyama, who rarely traveled abroad during this time of the coronavirus pandemic, took notice of the expressions on the windows while walking the streets of Tokyo. Many of the windows facing the street are made of opaque glass, such as frosted glass or figured glass, through which you can see various everyday items inside. Kitchen and bathroom plumbing, figurines, flowers, laundry, posters, umbrellas, Shinto shrines, bicycles... The interior space trimmed along the window frame becomes an abstract pattern, reflecting the shadows and reflections of the outside. It makes you imagine the existence of someone who lives there while staying there. It was the moment when each window became a portrait of the people of Tokyo. When looking through a window called a camera's viewfinder, what seems to be the gap between the outside and the inside becomes a screen, and the plane has a new depth.
In his previous work "flowers" (Akaakasha, 2021), Okuyama depicts a dialogue with his late grandmother through flowers, in which the gaze from the inside to the outside through the window confronts a certain person. overlapped. In this work, "windows," he interacts with a stranger by looking from the outside to the inside, and the individual and unspecified number of portraits will naturally reflect the society at his feet.
"windows" oscillates between figurative and abstract depending on light and distance, rather than as a specimen, where rising images and vividness coexist. Along with being an important turning point in Okuyama's work, his unique way of portraying the present and people presents profound suggestions.