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  • Photo by Norihito Iki

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  • Photo by Norihito Iki

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  • Photo by Norihito Iki

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  • Photo by Serge Koutchinsky

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  • Solo Exhibition "L’œil de la baleine " In Aquarium de Paris, France.Year 2018. Production cooperation : Serge Koutchinsky, Photo by Hiroshi Moriya

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  • Solo Exhibition "L’œil de la baleine " In Aquarium de Paris, France.Year 2018. Production cooperation and photo by Serge Koutchinsky

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  • Exhibition “Song to Life,Struggles of the Soul” in Spiral Garden, Photo by Norihito Iki

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  • Exhibition “Song to Life,Struggles of the Soul” in Spiral Garden, Photo by Norihito Iki

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  • Exhibition “Song to Life,Struggles of the Soul” in Spiral Garden, Photo by Norihito Iki

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  • “Interaction between a painting and a word is the beginning of a story” Art Museum & Library, Ota, Gunma. Photo by Serge Koutchinsky

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  • “Interaction between a painting and a word is the beginning of a story” Art Museum & Library, Ota, Gunma. Photo by Serge Koutchinsky

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  • “Interaction between a painting and a word is the beginning of a story” Art Museum & Library, Ota, Gunma. Photo by photo by Shinya Kigure+Lo.cul.P

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  • Whale tide |Year2017 | video | Duration: 07min38s

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  • In Awashima beach Photo by Mayur Vayeda

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    1,2,3,7,8,9, Exhibition “Song to Life,Struggles of the Soul” in Spiral Garden
    4,5,6, Solo Exhibition "L’œil de la baleine " In Aquarium de Paris, France.Year 2018. Production cooperation by Serge Koutchinsky
    10,11,12, “Interaction between a painting and a word is the beginning of a story” Art Museum & Library, Ota, Gunma.

    --

    Materials: Newspaper, wood fragments and pillars of an abandoned house in Awashima, shredded document paper from Mitoyo city office, toilet paper, plaster, bond, water, wire, wire mesh, aluminum foil, tree branches, plywood, acrylic pigment, animal leather, Organdy, thread, embroidery, spray color, pen, copper clasp, cotton cushion, spotlight, urethane, bamboo, sand

    * Leather used in the work is scratched and scrapped. Unsold, such as hagile. They are connected to create a new creature.


    Special Thank you
    Awashima Girl & Boy, the three Warli brothers, Mitoyo City in Kagawa Prefecture, and all the volunteers from Awashima and Umihotaru.


    Tara Expedition

    • ©S.Bollet-Tara Expeditions

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    • ©Francis-latreille

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    • TARAPACIFIC MAP

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    • ©N.Pansiot-Tara Expeditions

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      The Tara is a 36-meter long schooner for scientific expeditions
      that OHKOJIMA Maki boarded and started the production of the
      “Whale’s Eyes” series. The parent of the schooner is the Tara Ocean
      Foundation, a non-profit organization co-founded by a French fashion
      designer agnes b. and his son Etienne Bourgois which has been
      conducting marine environmental research and protection activities
      since 2003. Since its inception, the Tara Ocean Foundation has
      implemented 11 scientific expedition projects and sailed more than
      450,000 km through 60 countries around the world. With Tara Ocean
      project (2009-2013) which achieved to collect 35,000 samples of
      plankton, of which nearly 90% of plankton were newly discovered
      species, Tara Mediterranean project (2014) which investigated on the
      impact of microplastics to the Ocean, as well as Tara Pacific project
      (2016-2018) which conducted the research on the biodiversity and
      the evolution of coral reefs that face to climate change, the activities
      of Tara projects are very vast and have been producing many great
      scientific results. OHKOJIMA Maki was selected as one of the resident
      artists for this Tara Pacific Project through a global recruitment.
      From 30 January to 19 March 2017, OHKOJIMA sailed from Guam to
      Yokohama along with over 10 specialists such as seafarers, captain,
      cook, journalist and scientists. Although she was on board as an
      artist, she accompanied scientists to collect corals samples, and also
      participated in cleaning, raising the sail and night watching. While
      spending rich conversations with various specialists in the Tara-like
      “big family” that Okojima says, she spent a little less than two months
      together. Learning through her experiences on board of Tara made
      her nurture more concretely her image of the life cycle and of the
      symbiosis of life, created by marine lives. And this image became a
      fruitful foundation for the creation of the “Whale Eye” series, as well as
      11 stories and drawings such as “Sea, Life Soup”, “Coral Heart” and
      “Whale Gene”.

      Written by Satoshi Koganezawa
      First published in: Maki Ohkojima, "Whale's Eye," museum shop T, p. 70.

      Dead white whale

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        On February 6, 2017, I encountered a whale.
        A flock of birds had come to feast on its dead body.
        Sharks had also gathered.
        The skin had melted away,
        and its white fat floated on the sea.
        It moved together with the waves.
        Sea, soup of life.
        How many lives have melted into it?
        The places we live sit atop a foundation of life.
        The Earth resembles one giant creature.


        Text: where the sea meets


        The sea creates clouds that fall as rain,
        soak into the mountains and filter through the soil,
        becoming drinking water that enters creatures’ bodies.
        The mountains make rivers, whose water flows into the sea.
        This giant cycle is like the flow of blood or the passage of synapses,
        and I feel it takes place in our bodies, just as it seems to happen in the galaxy,
        where the Earth is but a single cell.
        As someone who has created images of forests for many years,
        I feel that the Eyes of Whales series has allowed me to see the whole Earth
        as a place where land and sea intersect.
        The carcass of the dead whale that I happened across burrowed
        into my consciousness and carried me on a great adventure.
        It’s as if my body is being animated by the myriad of gods and ghosts of nature,
        including the dark spirts that make their homes in forests, mountains, and rivers.
        I have delighted in this possession by spirts, learned from their perspective upon the world,
        and enjoyed working together with many people.
        The Eyes of Whales series is my tribute to their bodies and souls—
        so enormous and yet composed of the very small.

        Maki Ohkojima


        Video archive

        Eyes of whales

        Directed, Filmed and Edited | Shin Ashikaga
        Music | Curtis Tamm

        Other Works

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        © 2022 Maki Ohkojima