About Memory Fragments: Tokyo


How much of the universe does one actually see from the moment of birth through the end of one’s life? On the other hand, are not the images that actually live on in one’s memories only a tiny fraction of the total viewed? It varies individually, but, in general, visual memory will simply pass into nothingness unless you are truly interested in the objects or scenes, and even then our memories are imperfect and narrow. Can you recall the last time you walked through a crowd at an airport or mall – the countless numbers of people passing by – did an image of any particular face imprint upon your memory.

How about the Jinrikisha (Rickshaw) that you saw in Asakusa, Tokyo. You may vaguely remember the color and shape of the cart, but you would probably recall neither the faces of the riders nor the man pulling the rickshaw. And what about the views you see through the train or car window while you are traveling from one location to another? Unless you saw something particularly special, these moving landscapes would not be carved into your heart. In our daily lives, we think that we “see” things but in fact we rarely “look” at them. Sometimes you can maintain vivid memories of something you are exposed to for a certain period of time – like the people sitting across from you during a train ride.

Humans capture the world through five senses and develop confidence in their thoughts and actions based on accumulated knowledge and nurtured experiences. The things that we “see” are no exception. These are unconsciously translated into information within the mind, regardless of whether they were actually “looked” at or not. The accumulation of images that we see but do not look at will result in an ironic outcome – something that we are unconsciously afraid of at the bottom of our heart; that is, we think we understand but, in truth, we don’t.”

At midnight everyday, an old day ends and a new day begins. Tomorrow becomes today. In every moment, potential visual memories come into sight within our lives. Most of them are forgotten without ever having been truly acknowledged. These memories are random and vague and yet sometimes unexpectedly clear. MEMORY FRAGMENTS: TOKYO came from my efforts to visually express these difficult and hard to explain images through my camera lens.

by Yasuomi Hashimura