I started to learn photography in 2011, because I wanted to capture the scene as I saw it and felt it. As I learned photography in several workshops, I took a lot of pictures and when I looked at them, I saw something else. It was myself. Even if I hide my emotions, I see them in my photos.Not only that, but I discovered that I could meet myself in a way that I had forgotten. I will continue to take photographs in order to know myself. June 2019 Solo exhibition "Material".
Wastes are simply there. Looking into them, however, I feel the existence of a closed world as if nothing else is there. My mind is falling into a strange feeling as though I strayed alone into that world on which I do not have the slightest effect. It awakes childhood memories unexpectedly. Desire and fear for a forbidden place in the depth of the darkness in a factory. They have been remaining in my heart ever since. We, people are stained with the days gone by, just like trauma. Things are simply there, however, our past shows us their world. And then people realize: one has been gazing into the past of self through that world.
"Hi, I'm Yurika Toyama. This work, "Material," is a photograph of the inside of a trash can at a small town factory near my house. Scrap iron is thrown away there every day. They fascinate me and I have been taking pictures of them since 2011. Over time, I began to think about why I was attracted to the scrap metal and the factories. When I was a child, I lived in a house above a lumber mill. I remembered how much I loved to watch the ribbons of wood scraps coming out of that factory. I hated the place, but I realized that what I saw and felt then had seeped into who I am now and made me who I am. I continue to take photographs to learn more about myself, because photographs are a mirror of my inner self. So this work is very personal and I consider it to be a reflection of my inner self. When I exhibited this work in 2019, someone commented that it was like an abstract painting of downtown. It is a photograph of a figurative object, but I hope that it will become a work that allows the viewer to interact with their own inner self and become aware of themselves, just like an abstract painting.."