Bringing together seven distinct bodies of work from 1998 to 2012, Photo Album is a collection that evokes exactly its namesake. Think about flipping through a photo album; it’s an experience coupled with nostalgia and memory.
Otsuka’s practice is based on her personal experiences, particularly moving from Tokyo to the UK when she was 10 years old. This dual identity between two cultures – East and West – informs her work and she uses self-portraiture as a method to explore the self. Much of her work questions the idea of home – what makes a home and how do we develop a sense of belonging? How do we understand our personal history, and how does our culture inform who we really are? These debates continue between series and call into question the notion of the autobiography.
Photo Album is a compelling and elaborate visual narrative. The works are theatrical and poignant, demonstrating that Otsuka is a photographer with significant profundity as she unpacks the fragile components of identity.