Twenty years ago, that was 1993, the year of TORI (Rooster in the Japanese Juni Shi Calendar), Yuki Onodera left Tokyo for Paris to seek creative inspiration. Between 1993 and 1997 she created her first trilogy, starting with ¡°Liquid¡±, with water as the origin of creation, then she experimented with ¡°Clothes¡± suspended in the air, and ended with ¡°Birds¡± flying into nothingness. As she was living in Montmartre she had a window with unhindered view. Always innovative in photographic technique Yuki invents a modus operandi using fixed camera and flash with cloudy sky as backdrop to portray ¡°second-hand Clothes¡± and to capture ¡°Birds¡± in flight. By coincidence an installation by French artist Christian Boltanski consisting of a pile of used clothes symbolizing death at the Pompidou center provided Yuki with the material to achieve her project. ¡°Portraits¡± of disincarnated clothes, or clothes without a body, floating against a cloudy sky, each with a distinct personality, although of an invisible being, formed a haunting reinterpretation of Lazarus raising from the dead.

When I first met Yuki in April 2006 at the Shanghai Art Museum, I was immediately fascinated by her ¡°Second-hand Clothes¡±. Therefore I am honored that eight years later I can show Yuki¡¯s best known work under a new light. I am grateful that she authorized me to pair together her ¡°Clothes¡± series with her ¡°Birds¡± series to form never-seen before diptychs. These bodyless ¡°Portraits of Clothes¡± associated with the blurred feathers of birds taking off with a flap of wings, produce such a powerful contrast between static and dynamic, between still-life and animation, transcending Roland Barthes¡¯ concept of ¡°that has existed¡± and Carl G. Jung vision of birds as messengers and connecters between heaven and earth, between the living and the gods.

This diptych presentation of the two seminal works by Yuki Onodera is further enriched by the title ¡°View from the Window¡± that is a tribute to the first picture in the history of photography by its inventor Nicephore Niepce ¡°View from the Window at Le Gras¡± circa 1826-27.

That Yuki Onodera herself was awarded in 2006 the prestigious Niepce Prize is only a just recognition.

Jean LOH

Yuki Onodera
3 color printing
22 postcards