⟨ Art ⟩

Going Old With My Twin

Fumiko Imano

Words / Elva Pang
Translation / Ian Tsang

「如果我有位雙生姊妹,應該會很好玩吧?」

被孤獨感折磨而生起這種想法的,相信世上不只有日本的藝術家Fumiko Imano,如此渴望有一個陪伴成長的雙生兒。

小時候在里約熱內盧生活,雖然Fumiko很喜歡這個地方,卻感到自己如外星人般存在於一個不屬於自己的國家。「我的父母是日本人,但生活在街頭巷尾都是巴西人的地方,令小時候的我受到極大的文化衝擊。八歲時回到日本居住,踏足成田機場的一刻,我卻感到異常陌生,這是我所屬的國家嗎?」一連串的生活難題,令Fumiko無所適從,也無人傾訴。「祖母的家令人非常沮喪,尤其當我發現不懂得使用和式洗手間的時候。在學校,我不明白同學在說什麼,他們聊天的樣子和語氣好像在吵架一樣,這些都令人感到不安和害怕。」身份危機的恐懼一直陪伴著Fumiko成長,常常在腦海裡浮現「我是誰?」的她,外表看來與一般的日本人無異,心裡卻翻滾著厭惡自己的情緒。

抱著這種複雜的情緒,Fumiko開始拿起相機拍攝自己,透過鏡頭去探索「我是誰?」和「我是什麼?」。「雖然我是修讀時裝攝影,但我的佔有慾太強,無法與人合作,所以我必須要兼顧當攝影師、模特兒、造型師等等。」在鏡頭前後,Fumiko同樣是一人分飾多角,她拿著一部35mm相機、剪刀和膠水,好像施魔術般,把自己變成照片中可愛又鬼馬的雙生兒。「當我離開倫敦、回到日本的時候,我為無法融入社會和符合做一個『正常的』成年人而感到很痛苦,我只希望能永遠都不長大。如果在這麼難過的日子裡有一個雙生姊妹陪伴,如孩童般玩耍和幫助對方 ,不是件很快樂的事情嗎?有時候,看到照片中兩個自己在玩耍,會令我不禁大笑起來。」

自從成為了雙生兒後,Fumiko好像不那麼孤獨了,同伴也一個個走進她的照片。「與LOEWE的合作是與一個團隊的合作,照片不只有我和模特兒,還有M/M paris、Jonathan Anderson、Benjamin Bruno和LOEWE工作室製作的新季系列、製作團隊和助手等協助,還有拍攝地點巴黎的聯合國教科文署。他們全部都存在於照片之中,所以這不是我一個人的作品,而是整個團隊的作品。」本來以為無法與人合作,後來發現這也是一件有趣的事情,當時還為初次飛往巴黎拍攝而感到興奮不已。「天啊!那種感覺就像是日本的運動員去參加奧運比賽一樣!」繼今年春夏季的合作,秋冬季找來模特兒Liya Kebede拍攝宣傳照,有了兩位Fumiko的陪伴,為時裝照片帶來一點幽默玩味。

自從雙生兒的誕生,Fumiko似乎從照片中找到了屬於自己的安身之所,「也許後來會成為祖母雙生兒,或是棺材裡的雙生兒,到時候要請別人為我拍照呢!」雙生兒就像她內心的小孩,將會一直陪伴她到老。

“If I had a twin sister, it should be fun, shouldn’t it?”

Fumiko Imano, a Japanese artist, came to have this thought because of the pain of solitude, and this thought is probably shared by some others. She is probably not alone in yearning to have a twin to grow up together with her.

During her childhood years in Rio de Janeiro, Fumiko liked the place very much. Nevertheless, she felt like an alien living in a country where she did not belong. “My parents are Japanese, but since when I was little, I lived in a neighborhood full of Brazilians everywhere, I experienced an immense cultural shock. When I was eight, I returned to live in Japan, but the moment I set foot on Narita Airport, everything felt so foreign to me. Is this the country where I belong?” In the face of a series of difficulties in life, she was at a loss as to how to adapt, and she did not have anyone to talk to. “When I arrived Narita, i felt everything was gray…My grandmother’s house made me feel very frustrated, especially when I found that I did not know how to use the Japanese-styled toilet. At school, I did not understand what my classmates were talking about. Because of their accent, they seemed to be arguing, and such things made me feel anxious and afraid.” All along, Fumiko grew up alongside the fear of an identity crisis. With the question “Who am I” surfacing frequently in her mind, even though she looks like an ordinary Japanese, inside her mind was a torrent of self-loathing emotions.

Carrying such complex emotions inside her, Fumiko began to take photos of herself with a camera, and through its lenses, she began to explore “who”  and “what” she is.” “Even though I studied fashion photography, I was so possessive that I found it impossible to cooperate with others. That is why I must take on such roles as a photographer, a model and a stylist, all at the same time.” Behind the lenses, Fumiko also played various roles. Armed with a 35mm camera, scissors and glue, like magic, she turned herself into her cute and funny twin sister in the photos. “ After I came back to Japan from London, I suffered terribly because I failed to integrate myself into the society and to behave like a normal adult. I only wish that I could never grow up. Would it not be so joyful to have a twin sister as company to get through such painful times, and to play with and help each other out as children would do? Sometimes, when I see two of myself playing with each other in the photos, I cannot help but burst out laughing.”

Since becoming her own twin, Fumiko no longer seems to feel so lonely, and one after another companion begins to find their way into her photos. “The cooperation with LOEWE involves a whole team of people. Apart from me and the model, the photos also involve guidance from M/M paris, Jonathan Anderson and Benjamin Bruno, LOEWE studio team with new collections from the season, help from the production team and their assistants, and also UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, our shooting location. They all exist inside the photos so this is not my independent work, but one created by the whole team.” She originally thought that she could not cooperate with others, but later she realized that this could be interesting. She even felt elated before flying to Paris for the shooting for the first time. “My goodness! I felt like a Japanese athlete taking part in the Olympic Games!” Following the spring/summer season collaboration this year, we reached out to Liya Kebede, a model, for an collaboration in the fall/winter season shooting of promotion pictures. Thanks to Fumiko’s two companions, her fashion even a bit of humor and playfulness.

Since the birth of her twin, Fumiko appears to have found a sanctuary for herself in her photos. “Perhaps later on we will become twin grandmothers, or twins inside the coffin, and when that time comes, I will have to ask others to take photos for me!” The twin is like her child inside her mind, who will grow old alongside her.