For her photobook “Piece of Colonne. Fragments of Waves”, Japanese photographer Tamami Iinuma photographed a memo block made of colored paper using natural light and a macro lens. As part of her process of trying to capture the colors, shadows and change of brightness akin to approaching waves, Iinuma created photographic works reminiscent of an infinite fantastical landscape or an endlessly billowing sea of colors, appearing and disappearing and appearing again.
At the core of the project lies a fundamental sense of uncertainty regarding the assumed continuity and stability of architecture, an anxiety that Iinuma discovered after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
“As an artist who works on architecture in the medium of photography, I have always considered architecture as a creation of humans, and that such a volume of human convenience is inhabited by something like the spirit of a house that keeps us alive and protects our lives. I never doubted architecture could suddenly disappear one day without noticing us at all.
When I was living on Industry Street in Leipzig, Germany, around 2009-2010, I found a dusty memo block in a tobacco and stationery store in the corner of Elster Passage near my apartment. The memo block was in the shape of a spiral, with seven colors of paper (light yellow, light red, light blue, dark yellow, dark red, dark blue, and green) with one side glued and more glossy than the other three. Attracted by the decorative nature of this block, I piled them up to make a »colonne/column« and photographed them under natural light. Using a macro lens and focusing beyond infinity, I could fuse the density, light, and shadow of the colors. When I looked through the viewfinder, the colors surged me like a wave, and felt as I could capture them by releasing the shutter. These photographs that resembled colored paper were created in this way.
I wondered what it would be like to bundle these photographs into a book and spread them out across the space. I thought of a never-ending landscape, like a wave that appears, disappears, and returns, as I would turn the book’s pages. I thought of inviting others to touch the work and create one’s wave, and watch the waves created by others shift and change from afar. The familiar act of »turning a page« may feel slightly different from within daily life. Such a moment when the architectural presence could be sensed is the secluded sentiment I have in this work, Piece of Colonne. Fragments of Waves.”
― from Tamami Iinuma’s artist statement