Miho Kajioka – so it goes, so it goes, so it goes
so it goes, so it goes, so it goes, is the third edition of the award-winning book so it goes, by Miho Kajioka. Published by the(M) books and IBASHO gallery, this edition includes additional content, a new cover design, and color images.
Kajioka takes an unorthodox approach to designing a photo book, creating a unique experience through her use of materials. Printing on vellum, the pages’ transparency creates a sense of dimensionality through layering images, which is typically not present in a book format. Through text, image, and the physicality of the book, the mundane is transformed and used as the subject matter for her investigation. Exploring the natural world, the passage of time, memory, relationships, place, and emotional tenderness, Kajioka showcases her sensitivity towards the world; developing a poetic narrative that seamlessly interweaves the project’s themes. Her minimalistic approach towards text, and often quiet images, construct an immersive atmosphere that viewers traverse as they flip through the book.
Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse-five, was the catalyst for Kojioka to make this work. Leading her to become interested in time and memory, and how the two intersect. This developed into the creation of so it goes, so it goes, so it goes and its dream-like quality, with imagery at times blending into one another and warping into a new visual. Some memories are more distinguishable than others, some more faded and difficult to make out, and yet still equally as evocative and potent with emotion. Memories can be fragmented, half-faded, and difficult to fully conjure. While others are crystal clear and prey on a sense of nostalgia. This quality present in dreams and memories is the essence of Kajoka’s approach to image making, sequencing, and printing in this project, capturing the aesthetic perfectly.
Kajioka’s approach to the book’s design plays with the viewers’ perception. The warped imagery creates an experience that makes one question what they’re looking at. With each page turn the work continues to evolve and distort in new ways, alongside the level of clarity being in constant flux as well. The sense of questioning left with the viewer mirrors Kajoika’s, and her investigation that sparked the making of this work. It’s entrancing to flip back and forth rather than moving in a front-to-back sequential manner. The book creates such a strong sense of curiosity and intrigue, and due to the pages’ transparency, images differ depending on whether you’re looking from the front or back. In so it goes, so it goes, so it goes, Miho Kajoika captures her experiences, memories, and sensitivity toward the world, constructing an entrancing poetic narrative.
Miho Kajioka was born February 21st, 1973 in Japan and studied at Concordia University and the San Francisco Art institute in the 1990s. Kajioka’s artistic practice is in principal snapshot based; she carries her camera everywhere and intuitively takes photos of whatever she finds interesting. These collected images serve as the basic material for her work in the darkroom where she creates her poetic and suggestive image-objects through elaborate, alternative printing methods. Kajioka regards herself more as a painter/drawer than as a photographer. She feels that photographic techniques help her to create works that fully express her artistic vision. Her images evoke a sense of mystery in her constant search for beauty. The focused, creative and respectful way in which she uses the medium of photography to create her works seems to fit in the tradition of Japanese art that is characterized by the specifically Japanese sense of beauty: wabi sabi. Wabi has been described as ‘serene attention to simple things’ and sabi as ‘beauty acquired through the patina of time’. The artist regards herself as a maker of objects rather than a maker of photographs, using moments of her everyday life as both inspiration and material.
To purchase a copy of so it goes, so it goes, so it goes:
Big thank you to IBASHO gallery for the images and resources to write this article.
Jake Benzinger (he/him) is a photographer and book artist based in Rockland, Maine; he received his BFA in photography from Lesley University, College of Art and Design in Cambridge, MA. His work explores the intersection of dreamscape and reality. Through the dislocation of space, he weaves together imagery to construct a world that exists in the liminal, investigating themes of duality, longing, identity, and the natural world.
Jake is currently a gallery assistant and workshop coordinator at Blue Raven Gallery. His work was recently featured by Fraction Magazine, and has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Jake’s body of work, Like Dust Settling in a Dim-Lit Room (Or Starless Forest), was recently self-published and sold out of its first edition of hardcover books, with a second coming in November 2023 to coincide with a solo show at the Griffin Museum of Photography’s satellite gallery WinCAM.
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