Hiraki Sawa

Hako (2006) depicts a mysterious and dystopic landscape where the world becomes flat: distance between different spaces, depth of field and three-dimensional perceptions are canceled. Interiors of a Victorian doll’s house, a rippled seascape, a palm tree forest, and a gravel seashore are superimposed, morphing into each other. The hermetic narrative is charged with psychological and mythological aspects. Hako reflects Sawa’s interests in psychotherapies, in particular, the sand tray therapy, also known as sandplay, created by Dora Kalff. Sandplay asks participants to create their own arrangement of objects in a sandbox by choosing from a wide range of small figures to which the subconscious attaches symbolic meanings. Echoing this process, Sawa creates his imaginary dimensions where rules and selected elements allow for improvisation and play to reveal unconscious processes. Certain elements give visual clues and metaphorically comment on issues such as the hybridity of the human and the non-human. This is indicated by walking trees and a miniature toy clock that is animated to keep real world time in order to ponder the illusionary concept of linear time. Reality is not scientific. As the fantastical becomes everyday and the supernatural becomes commonplace, so does the reverse.

London-based Japanese artist Hiraki Sawa’s video installations and filmic works probe landscapes, psychological dreamlands, domestic interiors, imaginary spaces, ideas of displacement and migration, and above all, the inner self. He weaves animals, people, plants, animated and inanimate objects into a series of surreal sequences to create enigmatic and immersive worlds of sound and image. Employing a combination of digital editing and hand-made methods of cutting, pasting and collaging, Sawa highlights the ambiguous boundaries between facts and fictions and meditates on how remembrance and memory can be manipulated by time, emotion and mental influences.