|Photograph by Stephen Shore|
October 8, 2014
While wandering around Aoyama Book Center near Omotesando, I came upon a book of photographs by Stephen Shore. Mostly they were detailed images of various landscapes in America, but what I found interesting are the interior images of hotel and motel rooms. America seems to have the ability to express itself in these interiors - no matter how exotic or homey they look, it always spells out “America” to me. Not that I miss my home country, but I decided to use one of Shore’s images as an inspiration to re-do my tatami mat room in Meguro.
Researching his work, I found a quotation by him that I like a lot. This is exactly what I read: “I discovered that this camera was the technical means in photography of communicating what the world looks like in a state of heightened awareness. And it’s that awareness of really looking at the everyday world with clear and focused attention that I’m interested in.”
I too have an interest in my own sense of heightened awareness. In fact, I had to do away with the mirrors that cover my wall space, because it was too much of awareness. Using the photograph, I went to Karf on Meguro Dori to make me the exact bed that is in the Shore picture. The measurement had to be perfect because the room is very small. So basically the bed fits the entire room. In other words, I can’t walk around or behind the bed. The bed is the room. Which is also a very seductive if I bring a girl back home. No where else to go except on the bed!
Also I found a painter in Meguro who could copy the image off the photograph of the tree limb. Every room needs a sense of nature, even if it’s fake. The only question is where will I keep my clothes and records? I decided to put my belongings in the toilet area, and just leave enough room to reach the instrument of need, and to be in a position to sit down, but I can’t stretch my legs out. Luckily I have a portable turntable, and the only music I have in Tokyo is a bunch of recordings of Toru Takemitsu’s music.
Now I can lay in my bed and look at the tree limb and think of my own awareness while listening to Takemitsu’s music. What I find aesthetically pleasing is the white backboard of the bed, and how it matches the wall. It was tricky getting wood paneling in Japan, but I found wall paper in Tokyu Hands that resembles the paneling - so even though that is fake as the tree limb, I felt close to nature as well as my version, or I should say Stephen Shore’s version or vision of America.
As Tekemitsu commented, “...by admitting a new perception of space and giving it an active sense, is it not possible to discover a new unexpected, unexplored world?” I say yeah. This is so true!