Memory Fragments: New York investigates the uncertainty of memory by presenting ephemeral daily moments. Through his work, Yasuomi Hashimura challenges the perception of memories and how they accumulate or disappear over time. He captures the essence of a memory, revealing the unclear and unfocused nature in a wholly original style of photography.
The work challenges the viewer to examine the moments they would simply forget and pass by. Driven by a desire to show the audience something original, Hashimura uses camera movement and lens flare to great effect, depicting memories as they are created. The photographs become a cultural commentary on the ability of technology to influence our lives.
When the calculator was invented people no longer needed to remember how to do mental calculations, they began to rely on technology instead. With the rampant use of digital photography to capture perfectly exposed and focused photographs, people no longer need to remember everyday moments. Hashimura relies on his own eye and unique perspective to capture these daily scenes that often become forgotten memories. Human memories are ephemeral, they shift and change and often pass right through, lost to the constant marching of time. These photographs present the viewer with the question – what will be remembered of your daily lived experience?
Hashimura manages to capture the iconic images of New York without the jadedness of a local. Having lived in New York on and off since the 1970’s, he has a distinct sense of the city - its movement and rhythms, its many facades. The viewer feels at once lonely but also claustrophobic, both inherent qualities of living in one of the largest cities in the world. This is the perspective of an outsider who has become familiar with the surroundings but maintains an observant distance. The photographs depict Hashimura’s daily memories as they are being created. The elevated aesthetics formed from the color and compositions reveal a kind of dreamland to the viewer. “Transcendence”captures the ephemeral quality of a memory, showing beings moving through time, shadows and landscapes merging with people as they transition metaphorically from life to death. Some people have outlines that are perfectly clear while their faces are not. They become a memory in motion; the faceless commuter, the nameless businessman, a woman shopping, the homeless man sleeping. In Memory Fragments: New York, Hashimura is capturing the inherent energy and warmth of the city itself. There is a dizzying quality to the photographs, the viewer is swept into the motion, the moment at once expanding and just as quickly contracting again.