Five Centimeters per Second and Voices of a Distant Stars, two animation films by Japanese director Makoto Shinkai, have made tremendous impact on me and my artistic practices.
The films explore how nostalgia and longing for a former lover can become haunting, and illustrate this through somber and dream-like commonplace landscapes: train stations, bridges, and the city skyline. They have altered my view of love to be an addictive suffering, and have caused me to impose this view on how I see my surrounding environment. I cannot take a walk on the Charles River Esplanade at night, on my own, without feeling overwhelmed by nostalgia for the past, by doubts for the present, and fear of the future.
Through intertwining animation art taken from Five Centimeters per Second with my photographs, I try to visualize my vision of life and reality as heavily influenced by Shinkai. This series of images attempts to retell the plot of Voices of a Distant Star, through which I relate my distress in trying to grasp love.
In the end, questions remain: When does reality stop, and fiction begin? At what point do I stop relating my lived experience to the film, and begin adopting the film to how I experience life?