As usual, today is fine weather, is not it?
A polaroid camera is an analogue gadget which instantly starts to develop the image right after it is exposed. The temperature and the particular time of a day can be honestly shown by the image colors. The delicacy of the camera that requires caution and time to maintain its quality shapes the relationship between photographers and subjects. With such a communication tool in hand, thirty interviews and photoshoots regarding multilingual history in Tainan have been carried out by a Japanese photographer, Rina Nakano, in May 2017.
Rina dug through the complex historical layers of the country by researching and comprehending diverse multilingual local culture. With the background of unilingual Japanese society, she was intrigued by the custom of having multiple languages in daily life.
In the exhibition, The photographer tries to revitalize a camera as a communication tool. She regards it as a trigger to initiate dialogues with people, making it a real language again.
Moreover, in contrast with the excessive act of taking selfies nowadays, the photographer and the subject directly looked at each other via their eyes instead of the lens, as if the existence of both was assured at the moment. Although the image is not a selfie of the photographer, she exists as a reflection in the eyes of the subject. She is no longer an observer or an outsider, but rather an insider of the image.
Contrary to the intention of the photographer to be political, her identity as a female Japanese is always manifested. As long as one is born, raised, and educated in one nation, the neutral stance could never be reached just as the subjects will always be affected by the presence of a photographer.
In the installation, continuous multicolored threads are utilized to wrap the frames. Each color represents a language. Without cutting the threads, tangles, confusion and mess are visually manifested, mirroring intangible misunderstandings. The communication errors can only be traced as long as more patience is devoted, as if untying knots.
The photographer dedicated herself to investigate the potential roles of languages, such as politics, education, identity and community. Languages weave us together, make tangles somehow, and ironically unravel itself.