Remi Tohno ( They / Them )
I believe art is salvation.
Sometimes we feel life is hard.
But we can receive the sense of security,
the echoes of your invocation, and warmth from the artwork.
My work adopts simplicity and minimal expression and deals with themes of emotion, exploring personal and collective anxiety and trauma.
The minimalisation of the work’s physicality creates a void and space where the viewer can explore the work’s quintessence in relation to their own emotions and experiences. This relates to the idea of the Buddhist Void; it is not minimalistic nothingness, it is brimming with the indescribable essence of enlightenment. In other words, it would be Oneness; a spiritual experience that transcends the mind. Here the work can be experienced as meditative, therapeutic and sacred.
I work with a variety of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional processes, often using photography and text. The result is often presented as an installation, this involves playing with the space and allowing the viewer to be immersed in the work.
Exhibition at home
I have installed my previous works into my home to curate an exhibition, aiming to show them in a different context to explore how Covid-19 affects the world. Different artworks are presented in different rooms within my home, considering how the nature of the room suits the themes in the work. Since no one will be able to visit my home, I developed the idea of documenting the exhibition. Using the QR code on the poster, viewers can link to the exhibition on my website; an interactive map guides the viewer through the space and the work.
Tracing painful memories
This work reflects the nature of both collective and personal trauma.
Exploring family memories, I used family photos of my late grandmother. Her death is the most painful experience in my life, and I have still not got over it yet. I realise that this is because family experiences are often where our most painful memories and emotions come from. Even though the viewer would not know the person shown in the photos, they will be able to see parallels between this and their own family memories.
I feel that by sharing personal stories, personal can be universal and connect to others. Not being able to see the details would advocate for the sharing of the sorrow surrounding the work. My personal story could be transferred the whole of our story by the act of obscuring.
The view from a window
I worked with Project Ability artists who have lived experience of mental ill-health in 2020/2021. My project explored ideas around a view from a window.
In painting, the window is a sort of metaphor used by artists in various ways: a motif with representative associations of illumination or expectation, a bridge between the inner and outer world. During the current national lockdown, the window can be considered as a symbol connecting to the outside world and a point of view. People have been using their windows to display rainbow drawings to support NHS or yellow love hearts for those who have lost loved ones. The window allows us to engage with the world from the comforts of our homes while protecting us from the COVID elements. Exploring and sharing everyday life through our windows might be a new way of connecting to one another during this period.
Here is a publication I made as to the final outcome of the window project.