There was a writer who was born in Greece (then a British protectorate) in the mid-19th century and arrived, by way of Europe, the United States and the West Indies, in Japan in the late 19th century. Lafcadio Hearn, who later acquired Japanese nationality and the name Koizumi Yakumo (meaning clouds that overlap with small springs), was fascinated by the legends and mysteries handed down by women in regional Japan, and became known for chronicling 70 such tales.
Yoshida Shinya focused on Lafcadio Hearn’s itinerant life and two women who were his own important storytellers, his mother Rosa and his wife Setsu. Starting from Hearn’s Japan travelogue, The Dream of a Summer Day, Yoshida becomes Hearn, retracing his footsteps. The intricate coastlines and island-dotted seaside scenery of Shimane, Kumamoto, and Nagasaki are reminiscent of the women storytellers who Hearn met and the legends of fantastical worlds related to the sea. The scenery in front of us weaves words of memory and association, and overlaps with the vague memories of Hearn's childhood. Yoshida, who lives in the present age, layers words and draws a multi-voiced story to find points of commonality between his own senses and Hearn’s cosmopolitan attitude of traveling not only across our world but across different worlds and times. (K.E.)
Directed by YOSHIDA Shinya
Steve McClure, Blacko Muirí
NAKAMURA Chieko, Héringer Katy
Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Urashimaya at Misumi West Port
Media Translation Center
SUCCEED ＆ OKA Chiho
Special thanks to KOIZUMI Bon
Born in Aomori Prefecture in 1994. Based in Shimane Prefecture. Yoshida creates videos and multi-channel video installations that cross-cut between perfectly composed landscapes, with narrations combining fact in the form of people’s personal memories with the artist’s own words–all of which results in art that seems to awaken multi-layered memories hidden deep in the landscape.
Major group exhibitions include “Media Practice 20-21” (Yokohama Campus, Tokyo University of the Arts, Kanagawa, 2021) and “Sapporo International Art Festival” (participation in online projects only due to exhibition cancellation, 2020).