As IF / This land

Tomoko Kawai
Tomoko Kawai | As IF / This Land

As IF/ This Land 2010- ongoing
Photographic research materials

I belong to this land, and it is my origin and my place. This is the process and connection of observing the land of the Japanese archipelago and connecting my origins.

I examine the Japanese archipelago from a geographical aspect and through myths and volcanic traces. Volcanoes are the origin of this land. According to Japanese mythology, Kojiki, the first island of the Japanese archipelago, Onogoro Island – and now Awaji Island – was born by the gods. For me, geological traces and myths may have nothing to do with whether they are fact. These are both just “supposed to be”.

As the German philosopher Hans Vaihinger says, everything that confronts man this way can be taken hypothetically. In his words, everything in the world is based on a semi-fiction “as if” that deviates slightly from reality.

In 2014, I witnessed the eruption of a volcano that caused many deaths. The addition of the physical experience gained from the movement of my own body is a certain point of contact with this land.