Installation Magazine was introduced to the work of Japanese-born artist Keisuke Shirota last year at PULSE Los Angeles. Galerie Stefan Röpke presented Installation with a limited edition copy of A Sense of Distance, a collection of Shirota’s works wherein the photographic plane is manipulated by a deft painterly hand. The works are beautiful and haunting as they capture the sense of fleeting memory. They convey a deep and honest sadness that occurs when we attempt to recall places we have been or people we have met. The projector in our mind will always try and color those memories until they become altered by the passage of time. A Sense of Distance has remained a fixture in our studio and while English is not Shirota’s native tongue, we feel that the works transcend language and strike a chord that is universal memory.
“I’ve always been more interested in the things we have difficulty making out than those that we see clearly.”
“In the realm of memory, it is the things that have begun to fade that spark my curiosity.”
“It is what we see in our everyday lives and don’t remember—the things that we were looking right at but did not truly see—that make up the bulk of the images we experience from day to day.”
“The collection consisted of out-of-focus and poorly metered photos that commemorated nothing in particular. They seemed like images that functioned as a record and a memory of nothing—but in that, I sensed a bizarre kind of reality.”
“Digital cameras are everywhere and they make it very easy to just point, shoot, and erase your mistakes. These ‘bad’ photos felt, to me, like those missing deleted frames.”
Featured image: Keisuke Shirota, A Sense of Distance #39, photograph and acrylic on canvas, 80.3 cm x 100 cm, 2008
All images © Keisuke Shirota