Hanashiro Ikuko: Fleeting Visions

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Laurie says:

Hanashiro Ikuko

FLEETING VISIONS

(Photograph taken by Maretsugu Furugen)

my father in the old family photo
古い家族写真に映っている父の姿

an old woman praying in the woods
森で祈っている老女

burnt cars in the street
ストリートの焼け焦げた車両

although I don’t really remember
はっきりと覚えているわけではないけれど

I know that these visions actually passed through the pupil
and reached the center of my eye
それらは確かに、瞳孔に焼付いたビジョン

because they were so vivid
I could even smell something burning
あまりにも鮮明だったので
焦げ付いた匂いさえも、脳裏にかすめたのだった

scents of the incense, moist earth and woods
線香、湿った土の匂い、そして森の木々の香り

people set fire to the parked cars, burned them down
人々は車両に火を放ち、焼き尽くした

because they were very angry
何故なら彼らは怒り狂っていたから

I stared at them
私は彼らを凝視した

I stared at them because
なぜなら

I wanted to see the people’s
faces in the crowd
見たかったのだ、群衆の、彼らの表情を

faces in a rage
怒りに震えた顔を

as the time passed by
the images blurred
時は流れ、記憶は色褪せ、

I thought they are gone
もう忘れてしまっていたのだと思っていた

they completely vaporized from my head
すっかりと頭の中から昇華してしまったのだと

but they occasionally come back to me
しかし、時折それらは蘇って来る

they flash at the back of my mind
私の頭の奥で

I feel that
私は感じるのだ

they’re still with me
あの記憶は未だ私の中にあるのだ

fleeting visions in me
泡沫のビジョンが、私の中に

The art work and the poem are by Hanashiro Ikuko, an Okinawan artist who I photographed for Women of Japan. We bonded around our work and our cats. “Fleeting Visions” is from a 2014 exhibition in Okinawa that I recently saw for the first time. I am inspired by her visual art and her words. She wrote a wonderful text “The Experience of Looking at Myself in the Photograph as an Object” for Women of Japan. Ikuko’s personal exhibitions, and numerous group exhibitions, have been held so far at various sites, including Okinawa, Okayama (mainland Japan), Canada and Argentina.

You can see the other beautiful two images from “Fleeting Visions” here.

I took her portrait at her loom in her studio in Okinawa.