Yukari Umekawa
Artist’s Statement
I take thousands of pictures of whatever I see, mostly using a digital camera with a pinhole lens. If I feel a connection to a place, like I do when I am in my
hometown of Osaka, Japan, I get a feeling of infinite space where I can feel my friends and family. Sometimes I am inspired by pop culture, especially music
videos, because of their sense of newness that I want to express in my photographs. But most times when I shoot, I simply don’t think.

Then, during post-production, I look over all of the images and narrow them down to just two or three that talk to me. I stare at them for a long time until I
decide which ones to use. I don’t know exactly how I choose them; I just get a feeling. Sometimes I go back to photographs that I took a year or more ago,
and I pick totally different ones. It’s up to my emotions at that exact moment, and I’m always changing what I’m looking for.

Color and light are important to me. I am attracted to take an image when the light hits in an interesting way. The soft focus and colors of the images express
ambiguity. I like to use digital film because I can manipulate the photographs. I have the ability to completely change the colors, which allows me to show how I
feel at the time.

During a trip to Osaka, the images were dark and gray because my life was in a transition when I did not know what was next for me. I give images with more
vibrant colors to represent happiness, like a cheerful red when I just met someone new. My most recent work is somewhere in the middle: I will be moving
back to Japan, which I am excited about yet sad to leave the United States, so the colors are colorful yet muted to express my mixed emotions. I’m projecting
my inner self onto the world around me.