J U N K O    S U G I M O T O

H O M EW O R K 1 W O R K 2S K E T C HC O N T A C T



Artist Statement

My work examines my memories of places—how repeated recollection changes my perception of them. My ideas often begin with a particular place that I encounter and absorb the contours of in the course of my daily life. I rarely take photographs as I find allowing my imagination of a certain place to develop becomes a fundamental part of my perspective when I create art. I think that my desire to re-envision a familiar atmosphere may be influenced by the changes to my hometown, Katano, a northeastern area of Osaka, Japan.  After a rail system was built there, it gradually changed completely from a country village to an urban city. Over the years, rice fields, rivers, woods, and a mountain disappeared and were replaced by concrete buildings. Although I have many pictures of the old town that show what it looked like, that place is no longer available for me to describe the surroundings or atmosphere. Because of this experience, I am devoted to creating the atmosphere of particular spaces at moments that evolve in my memory.

Details of a memory or a place are generally insignificant to my work, and instead I favor creating a vague sense of the atmosphere that I experienced. For example, when shapes of leaves inspire me, the form is emphasized in my memory and at the same time other elements like a color or smell or surrounding elements reduce from my memory. 

Repetition is one of the most important elements in nature that engages me.  For example, the sound of a wave is coming and going and similarly shaped leaves make the whole shape of a tree.  I am frequently curious why I begin by dwelling on a particular spot and find myself devoted to making a vague copy of nature with everyday materials such as yarn, paper, or q-tips.  For each project, I primarily use one material and repeat simple shapes like spheres or columns over and over again as in my recent installation “Trail in Winterthur” (Winterthur is a town in Switzerland where I lived for my residency).   My “River” series is a continuation of these themes.