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"All the Light You Cannot See" 


Kyoka Akita

20 - 28 June 2021

The artist’s vision here is “to see is to know the existence of things and people”. She wonders if there is an invisible light as she once experienced when capturing her husband’s image. She never knew her mother or saw a photograph of her, so finds herself questioning if her mother ever even existed.


“I express myself via photographs. Through them I see my husband and I without conflict, visible and invisible pain and joy of coexistence and then emerging as a unified duo. That is the basis of my reflections and the aim of my work is to develop further my thoughts and how I express them."


"Once when I took a shot off my husband in strong sunlight with flash, and I noticed a pillar of light in the photo that I couldn’t see when I took it. The result was a remarkable faceless image! A portrait with no face is not a portrait after all but this phenomenon was a fresh and  an interesting experience for me which brought thoughts of my absent mother mind. This accidental portrait of my husband reminded me of somebody who I seemed to know but the person has neither gender nor age. I don't know my mother's face because my parents divorced when I was one year old and my father brought me up. I have never seen my mother ever since. There are no photos of her, they were disposed of and nothing of her was left for me to remember."

"The person in the faceless portrait is my only family right now. It would not be strange for it to be my mother standing there in that family portrait. It would not even be strange for it to be a completely different person!...But no matter how long I keep on taking pictures, I probably will never be able to take pictures of my mother's face."


"I was born in the easy-photography era, when everybody has millions of photos but  I don’t have a single shot of my mother. I am confused in comprehending her existence and the actual fact that I was born from that mother. Not seeing something is probably almost the same as missing something. Does this mean that unphotographed people fade without trace?"


"I think of the light that might be lurking nearby but is invisible to the eye, the light that can never be seen because of the different factors preventing it! Can it be that there is no light if it cannot be seen? If it is so, then I don't think my body, born from a faceless mother, can even exist here right now."

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Kyoka Akita


Kyoka Akita is a young photographer based in Kyoto. Akita focuses on the meaning of light in photography and its symbolic meaning. In photography often the excess of light hides the familiar appearance of the object from the viewer but at the same time revealing new hidden images. She is curious about the effect of light on the familiar surroundings, faces and cityscapes.

The artist deeply investigates this phenomenon, trying to find answers to universal human questions with the help of her works.

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