The Pacific Tourist
Project info

“The Pacific Tourist” combines the present pictures of two small Japanese islands with an old guidebook and archival images of the United States. The project is designed to misrepresent the time and place of its landscape photography.

Named as Nozaki Island and Ojika Island, the two belong to the Goto Archipelago and are located next to each other, floating on the western sea of Japan. Since the villages disappeared with capitalism, Nozaki Island has been almost untouched by now. Without being affected by the flow of the world, Ojika Island with the population of 2,800 co-exists with nature and maintains self-sufficiency and barter, too. When I visited these two islands for the first time in the summer of 2013, I felt as if I were in a foreign country. I had never seen the scenery before, nor heard the language before. Above all, I learned richness not regarding money or convenience there.

The idea of misperception is based on the uniqueness of the Japanese thought pattern. As an island nation, the Japanese have historically been aware, without consciously realising it, that there is something to be learned from foreign countries. I have certainly been one of them. For me, that foreign country has always been the United States. From my childhood, I had always pursued the capitalist affluence of America. But my visits to these islands have made me doubt that the "foreign country" I should be learning about is no longer the US.

I revisited the islands to document the landscape in September 2015 and completed as the project the following year. In January 2017, the Trump administration in the US began.