The images of Miyako Ishiuchi present us with the bittersweet residue of inevitable change. Her photographs serve as containers of accumulated memories twice removed— bookmarks placed by an unknown reader in a book which, if found later, may not be read again.
“I cannot stop [taking photographs of scars] because they are so much like a photograph… They are visible events, recorded in the past. Both the scars and the photographs are the manifestation of sorrow for the many things which cannot be retrieved and for love of life as a remembered present.” — Miyako Ishiuchi
For the 2005 Venice Biennale, Ishiuchi filled the Japan pavilion with photographic and video installations from Mother’s. The series documents her mother, a strong-willed woman who lived through tumultuous times: from life in 1930s colonial Manchuria, to wartime Japan when she worked as a truck driver. Ishiuchi’s tribute begins with a photograph of her mother, but primarily consists of “portraits” of her mother’s clothing and possessions.