Masashi Mihotani
Images are for illustration purposes
Please feel free to take it
Searching for insects
Waste thread
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               Production of this series is done in a color darkroom, featuring illustration purpose images printed on the packages of snacks and daily commodities found in convenience stores and supermarkets. Surfaces of chocolate boxes and packages of frozen food have light penetrated through as though they were a negative. The light penetrated through the materials even transform the textures of those surfaces with their creases and crumples into the images, and have colors reversed from their originals become fixed. Being detached from their original contexts, the concrete information in which used to be easily associated with their purposes disappear, leaving the viewers puzzled with the intangible images on the photographic paper.

When seen as a behavior of light, the reversed colors could be interpreted as the backside of light, as they were colors absorbed into the materials that could not reach our eyes. Like thermography, what we see are scenes captured through physical contact with the actual reality. If so, perhaps the photographic paper is a metaphor of the innumerable channels that exist as a medium that can visually capture light. Furthermore, our cognition structure lies on top of this. With the enlarger and framing being added as another layer, the images become unknown existences as they are detached away from the concepts that have been wrapping the objectives together, although they used to be a certain familiar existence. The images embedded into the mass-produced printed materials could be seen as a creature that reflects the nature of the consumption society with their halftone dots and images stimulating the human appetite, as though creatures selected by nature speak of their surrounding environment through their patterns, forms, and biologies.

The reasons why I continue photography roots back to my memories of when I was a child and used to catch insects. The process of experiencing their familiar yet unknown presences, as well as how the multilateral recognition evolves through the experience of sharing with others, is very similar. Furthermore, the fascination of encountering an insect I had never seen before heavily reminds me of when I meet with these images in my darkroom. The accumulated memories of the huge variety of colors and patterns may be functioning as a feature value inside me while I still continue to see daily life with my eyes as is. Such formative experience of seeing continues towards my current interest against the status of “I see.”