A Tokyo-born photographer is harnessing the power of her digital art skills to travel back to her childhood. Chino Otsuka places a current photograph of herself next to a younger photo in a new series titled, “Imagine Finding Me.”
The visual artist left Japan for the United Kingdom at the age of 10. Photographs of Otsuka sightseeing across Asia and Europe date as far back as 1975.
“Becoming a tourist of your own history is my starting point,” she says in a video on a page for her entry to win the AGO AIMIA Photography Prize in 2013. “Imagine Finding Me” was a finalist for the award from the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. “So each individual photograph, I take as a different scene.”
The scenes provide viewers with a different retrospect on Otsuka’s childhood. In each photo, a more recent shot of Otsuka is standing next to or with an older photo of herself. In some instances, the double self-portraits span over 30 years.
“They’re all in transitional places. … So it’s like bridges, hotel rooms, trains,” she notes. “Again, the whole thing of this traveling is running through (the series).”
Otsuka says the point of the series is to show that she is neither “here nor there.” Traveling at such a young age, the photographer doesn’t identify herself as Japanese or English. After spending many years looking for “her place,” the London-based photographer now suggests that she is comfortable living between these different places, and she wanted to showcase this through digital techniques.