Experience of boundaries between familiarity and
The place shown in the photo is the Dead Sea.
When I said that I’d been to the Dead Sea, people would ask me whether the body really
floated on the sea and whether the water tasted salty, which were also what I
wanted to know most.
To answer the questions, it is yes. The water is
really salty and the body floats on the water if you just lie on the water. But what is more vivid in my memory is the fence
that crossed the middle of the beach rather than the salty water of the Dead
The boundary, which seemed loose and negligent
but crossed exactly the middle of the beach, divided between the area for tourists
where all cultures were permitted and the area for local people that was filled with
Of course, I looked at the other area from the
area for tourists. And Muslim men in the other area looked at me, an Asian woman in
the bikini. (there was no woman found on the beach of the Islam area.)
At that moment, I was not a little embarrassed
by an encounter with too different culture. Because I wore a bikini, and I felt as
if even the bikini was stripped off by their endless glances. Although they and I, who had grown up in
different cultural areas, existed in the same space and time, it may be said that their
viewpoints and thoughts and mine were totally different at the moment. (Of course,
there might be something same shared between them and me.) What might be true and
right among the dissimilarities? And what is the emotion that arises at the
boundaries between the familiarity and the unfamiliarity?
I wanted to leave the subtle encounter of the
two cultures and genders behind, and captured (selected) the moment using the tool of
a camera.Thus, I was able to leave the expressions of
them who looked at me at that time and
my viewpoints towards them. And further, I sprinkled the developed film with
nail polish (I wanted to use a tool capable of symbolizing feminity) in order to
express my own feelings of that time.
As a result, the finally developed photo shows
both their objective glances and my abstract emotions felt at that time.