NOW & ZEN






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In this work I continue my exploration of personal and collective memories. In my photographs, I reflect on the strands of memory retained from the dream state as manifested in landscapes, temples, and other familiar yet ambiguous scenes of Japan in and around sacred space.

The inspiration for this series came from a recent stay in Japan. I was struck by the realization that many of the photographs were bringing back strong memories from when I lived in Japan as a young boy. I became fascinated with how many of our recollections can be attributed to a photograph, dream, or story as well as to actual experience. Like life itself, this series is at once true and fictitious, remembered and reconstructed, seen and not seen.

In Now & Zen, I explore how our memories are informed by photographs as well as by dreams, and how events or people that we remember might in fact be things we never experienced. The initial inspiration for this body of work came from looking through family photographs. As I would look through our old family photo albums from Japan, I began to realize that many of the memories these pictures evoked would seem very real to me, but in reality the pictures were taken when I was very young, or were of events where I was not present.

While many of the images present recognizable imagery, it is impossible to ascertain a specific identity. I want these images to evoke another time and place, to suggest a memory of a person or event without the ability to recall details. They capture random gestures as well as ambiguous moments. I am re-telling the story, re-writing history, re-presenting my family's drama, but in doing so transforming the autobiographical into the universal.

What happened is never known, only what might be going on. While the photographs present some of the story, we use our imagination to fill in the blanks. A narrative based on the relationship between the images is created. Whether the narrative is the right one does not seem to be the point. What matters is that the images speak to the very nature of memories or dreams, and that we identify with an image and relate that image to personal experience.