Unfortunately, or not
mixed media installation

Installation exhibited in Koganecho Bazaar 2021

1st October 2021 | Yokohama, Japan

2020: When a pandemic kicked in …

I was undertaking a winter artist-in-residency program in a Swedish-speaking town in southwestern Finland in early 2020. By mid-March, coming towards the end of my 3-month residency, the EU border was closed due to the global coronavirus pandemic – all cross-border travel, even, within EU was basically banned, and yet I realized I was stranded in the best possible way – at an artist-in-residency in the countryside in Finland when the pandemic kicked in.

With a *super-8 camera that I borrowed from a local filmmaker since the beginning of my artist-in-residency, I’ve set the camera up on a tripod in my residency apartment, aiming to capture the white-out snowy landscape from the north-facing window in my living room during the Nordic winter days. Because of the pandemic, I got an unexpected extension transitioning into the Nordic spring.

*The super-8 camera I had in hand was a Canon-1014XL. I was much fascinated by its in-camera manual dissolve in/out function. The whole idea I had in mind was to place and fix the camera in one spot for an extended period of time so that I could capture how the view outside of my window changes from time to time, and later on, between seasons. As a soft reminder, the digitalized movie showing at the exhibition on the monitor is an entire cartridge reel of unedited super 8 film that is 15 meter in length. All on-screen dissolving in/out transitions were in-camera operations without further retouch.


And when the pandemic continues in 2021…

Funny thing is, everyone kind of imagined/believed/anticipated/hoped that the pandemic would be over in summer 2020. And yet the pandemic is still up and running until this very moment in autumn 2021.

Here and now, I am undertaking yet another residency in the eastern part of the Netherlands; while supposedly, I was to be in Yokohama in person to do an artist-in-residency with Koganecho. However, due to the rather unstoppable pandemic, the Japanese border has been closed to all non-Japanese residents and nobody has a clue on when the border will be opened again. So here I am, undertaking my first-ever remote residency, attempting to create work in response to the Koganecho Bazaar 2021 theme ‘side by side’.

A series of double-exposure films are shown. Through double exposing on photographic films – first in the Netherlands, then in Japan – my attempt is to juxtapose the different times and spaces using analog medium for capturing elements related to postal services.

Without being able to transport myself to Japan, I could only rely on postal services for transporting my work to Japan – and that was how I decided to capture images relating to mail delivery that is a rather “invisible” yet crucial process throughout this project.

Acknowledgement: This double-exposure photographic series would not be made possible at all without the help of my life partner, Masanori Matsuda, who helped with the execution of the second exposures of the films and a lot other local logistics, orderings and printings that took place in Japan.

jolene mok