I have a chance to meet,
there is so much I want to ask
and so much I want to tell’
So begins the introduction to Chino Otsuka’s most recent photography project ‘Imagine Finding Me’. Chino Otsuka is a Japanese visual artist based in London, whose work is very subtle, very soft and very nostalgic in a way that only the Japanese can be. Softness becomes loud with intent with Otsuka’s work as her last project explores the themes of time travel, nostalgia and memories through heartwarming photographs. Otsuka took several old photos from her childhood and teenage years, and digitally manipulated her present self in them, creating a series of double self-portraits.
This series of portraits become vehicles of the self and of time, where Otsuka’s journey is wonderfully re-arranged. At first glance, the photographs could be of two sisters, or a mother and a daughter, roles which the present Otsuka ends up playing by ways of rearrangement. Almost like pictures from a trip, the series takes us to Paris, London, and even Tiananmen in China, but the real movement is, of course, through time, for Otsuka considers the relationship between past and present to be a fluid one. The digital manipulation then acts like a time machine, whereupon the photographer goes back in times, like a tourist in her own history.