© YOKOMIZO Shizuka

Stranger (6)

ArtistYOKOMIZO Shizuka
Material/ Techniquechromogenic print
Size/ DurationH108×W127cm (frame)
Copyright Notice© YOKOMIZO Shizuka
Year of acquisition/ donation2005
DescriptionBorn in Tokyo, Japan in 1966. Lives and works in London, UK.

After studying philosophy at university in Japan, Yokomizo Shizuka moved to the UK where she studied art and began exhibiting her work. She continues to create artwork that looks at themes such as the individual, society, community, and the distance between human beings using mainly photographs and video as her media. The “Stranger” series (1998-2000), in which she sent letters anonymously to numerous complete strangers and photographed them through the windows of their own homes, typifies Yokomizo’s unique approach to the issues she addresses, in this case the boundaries between the self and others, and personal and public territory.

The photographs that make up this series were taken as part of a project undertaken from 1998 to 2000 in Paris, Stockholm, Berlin, New York, Hiroshima, Blackpool, and London. Yokomizo sent letters anonymously to complete strangers, positioning a camera in front of their homes at a designated time and photographing those who agreed to be subjects standing by their window. After taking these photographs, Yokomizo would leave quietly without exchanging a word with her subjects. The subjects adopt various poses, some standing upright and gazing naively at the camera and others folding their arms and staring defiantly into the lens. The results expose the uncertain nature of the distance and relationship between strangers unaffected by the intimacy that usually governs interactions between friends, acquaintances, and people of the same nationality.