Self-portrait (已己巳己 )
2014 - 2015 Made in Brazil and Japan
Meeting a person whose soul is the most alike to mine on the opposite side of the earth.
Work format: Installation (Dimension variable)
Materials: Mirror, two TV monitors, two DVD players, two tables and two maps
This work is composed by two identical actions, from different regions of the world, in a symmetrical altar-like installation.
Two TVs show Yoshida's identical actions in Brazil and Japan, while the front tables accommodate the photos of the people whom Yoshida encountered. The mirror between them makes a little illusion that integrates the two.
Japan to Brazil
Divination 1: Spiritual vision divination
In 2014, Yoshida initiated the work by meeting a fortuneteller in Japan who performs “Spiritual vision divination”. This is one of many methods of divinations seen in Japan and is regarded as one of the oldest. Through spiritual visions, a fortune teller meditates in front of his/her client to observe them spiritually and answer their questions.
Yoshida asked the fortuneteller only one question:
- I wanna meet a person at the opposite side of the earth whose soul is the most alike to mine -
Geographically speaking, it is incorrect as it is located slightly off, but Brazil has been regarded as on the opposite side of the earth from Japan. That is a common thought among Japanese people. (e.g. There is a joke in Japan of looking down at the ground and saying “Hey Brazilians, can you hear me!” Later on Yoshida learned that Brazilians have the same perception, being that Japan is located on the opposite side from them. It is said that if you dig a hole straight down, you will arrive at Japan.) Yoshida handed over a map of Sao Paulo, Brazil to the fortuneteller and asked him to write down his divination on it. Its details are quite concrete, as it shows that the person to encounter would be female, in her young-adult years, as well as other details.
The Person 1: Brazil
In January 2015, Yoshida was at Ibirapuera Park in Sao Paulo. The park is one of the largest leisure spots in the city centre, and the place pointed out by the Japanese fortuneteller. After hours of walking, he finally encountered the person he was looking for.
Brazil to Japan
Divination 2: Cowrie-shell divination
In the beginning of 2015, Yoshida initiated the work by meeting a fortuneteller in Brazil who performs “Cowrie-shell divination”, one of the most common divinations seen in Brazil and originally derived from African ritual, then altered into a new form in Brazil.
In Cowrie-shell divination, a fortune teller shakes some cowrie-shells in their hands and throws them on a table to read the patterns known as “Odu”. Before casting the shells, they invoke and salute the Orishas (their Gods) and put questions to them. The Orishas answer the questions by influencing the way the shells fall on the table.
The question Yoshida asked the fortuneteller was same:
- I want to meet a person at the opposite side of the earth whose soul is the most alike to mine -
However, this time the person would be in Japan as it was the opposite side of the earth from Brazil. Yoshida handed over a map of Osaka, Japan to her and asked to write down the divination on it. Its details are rather obscure but still have the core information for finding the person.
The Person 2: Japan
In May 2015, Yoshida was at Nakanoshima Park in Osaka. The park is located at the city centre just by the main offices of the city administration, and often hosts local events. On the day Yoshida visited, there was a flower festival where many roses could be enjoyed, accommodating a variety of people. Of course, this place was chosen according to the divination in Sao Paulo. He encountered the person here.
IKOMIKI, or 已己巳己 in Japanese means more than two things are looking alike or very similar as the appearance of each characters look alike
(i.e. “已/cease”, “己/self” and “巳/snake” and again “己/self”)