Up to now, I have worked in the media of photography and painting. But my creative process always begins by looking at a photograph. I do not mean the famous ones taken by recognised masters, with aesthetic value and sophisticated skills. I mean those taken casually in daily life – the trifl ing images we produce with familiar equipment.I use photos precisely because they are socially ubiquitous. The quantity and velocity of new images is overwhelming, so it is sometimes diffi cult to look at them a second time. Yet I try to retain true feelings when I relook at them. To me, this is nothing less than the search for reality of everyday life itself.If I were to offer up these photographs, just as they are, viewers would register only their banality and mediocrity. It is, conversely, to force an act of conscious looking that I add to them aspects of painting, or to be precise, the action of drawing. This action shows the trajectory they have passed through. A gaze is invisible, but by adding visible traces in my inscriptions, I hope to return looking to the realm of the conscious. This is the common notion underlying all my work, and I have recently developed it in various new directions.

Photography and Western-style painting were introduced to Japan at the same time, during the latter days of the shogunate and early Meiji. In Western countries, that sort of painting already had a long history, which would be drastically altered by the appearance of photography. But in Japan both came simultaneously and were accepted indiscriminately. First and foremost, people were amazed by their shared realism, which, renovated the gaze. That conceptualisation went in parallel with the entire process of Modernisation in 19th-century Japan. Japanese creators were delighted by the novelty of photography and painting, but they must surely also have felt unease and disjunction.Thus, Western-style painting and photography were accepted in Japan, from the outset, in tandem. I seek to reconstruct what people must have felt as they witnessed the changes unfolding before them. I sometimes seek to impose myself into their thoughts.