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Reiko Imoto

2. 10. 2009 - 2. 11. 2009
Reiko Imoto

Exhibition of Japanese photographer, working in Belgium consists of three collections: Time Traveler’s Diary, Dreams of the Amnesiac and Dreamscapes.

Time Traveler´s Diary

Perception of time is mysterious. It seems to me that each year is shorter than the last one. Hence when I was a child, the time was flowing much slower. I used to have loads of time to count the clouds in the sky or how many stones are there in the garden of my parents. And still much of the time was left until the sun set. Perception of time is changing. When thinking heavily on the way home, I suddenly find myself standing by the doorstep of my flat. Time flows this way when I’m busy or when I’m doing something that I really enjoy. Time is a strange thing.

Since when I grew up I still cannot handle time right, but I’ve become “Time traveler” who is carried from place to place (by plane), to relax and get away from the full diary by traveling. Time spent on the real path is important for me, but I’m finding that it is also important to travel through the past/present/future freely in my mind.

For the Time Traveler’s Diary collection, I’ve tried to create imaginary travel story, that could be lived through anywhere in our minds. The images didn’t originaly match each other, but they become invisibly bound, similarly as in the game of word asociations. As long as the time flow keeps its secrets, I will continue in taking pictures of my “path”…

Dreams of the Amnesiac

After I wake up, sometimes it happens that I cannot remember the dream I’ve had, even though I know that I’ve had one and I’m trying hard to visualise it. The only thing that I remember is the feeling or the notion brought by the dream without any visual trace. I’m trying to visualise things or faces, or to remember some keywords that may have appeared in the dream. In the end, only the feeling of mystery, melancholy, nostalgy or happiness remains; as when you remember the smell of certain food, but cannot remember what food it was. In these moments I have a feeling that my memories and thoughts are trapped in a “locker” or my subconsciousness and that I cannot find the key to unlock it and see inside as there must be something so important to me. I think that people with amnesia must feel the same. Once I’ve had an opportunity to ask a question to psychologists that were specialised in dreams: “Do people with amnesia have any dreams of their past memories?”. They replied: “Yes. They have those dreams, but never remember what were they dreaming.”.

The main motive of this series is the feeling of forgotten. I’ve tried to express my own feelings of forgotten, unknown memories, imagining the atmosphere of dreamy pictures that never remain in the memory of a man with amnesia. Discovering the feelings of forgotten might not be as positive as the focusing on the feeling of remembering in our lives. Realization of existence of forgetting as a part of process in our minds can bring us to solutions how to set us free from our own “lockers in the minds”.


I write my personal diary of dreams for more than 6 years. I’m having dreams nearly every night and I often remember most of the details. Through this project I’ve been trying to draw all my notions and feelings that reached me through the dreams and subconsciousness when I was remembering all the secrets and daydreams that went on when I was a child. Even when I grew up, the dreams of my childhood echoed from the past as if trying to show me something important, that I forgot. I also try to imagine that this kind of dreams could contain some memories of my ancestors as pictures, that are saved in our DNA as Swiss psychologist Carl Jung suggested. Be it this way or another, it seems to me that I hear the echoes from childhood from great distance even after I wake up.

Fenomenon of dreaming can be illustrated as a visit of a night cinema when each “short film” starts without any connection or context. I’ve obviously become an audience and actor in main or side role in my own “theatre of mind”. The realm of dreams is so mysterious that we “ameteur” sleepers cannot forecast anything from the future; dreams invite us somewhere into various situations of unexpected and besides, we see images only when we have our eyes closed. And what more - the dreams sometimes very strongly affect our five senses and the feeling of them doesn’t vanish for a long time after we wake up. We can also remember a dream for a long time as some sort of secondary experience from our life. For me, the dreams of my childhood represent a main source of inspiration. Every time it supplies me with a load of puzzles and always vanishes before I solve them. What do they mean to me now?

The world of dreams is so enigmatic and unknown that it doesn’t stop to lure me. These “escapes to dreams” influenced by the past are bound with inner seeking for the meaning of the present soul. On the other side, back inside my head, I would like to secretley hope that the mystery remains unsolved forever….

Reiko Imoto