Miyuki Okuyama, in her series Safe Playground that she has been working on, off and on, for the past six years, constructs pseudo-landscape scenes using miniature props. Shooting these with toy and pinhole cameras, these dark and moody scapes may bear little relation to the staid spaces of The Netherlands where she now makes her home, but they are perhaps a closer reflection of how Okuyama is negotiating her island of existence between her homeland of Japan and her current domicile, and that no man’s land between the mystery and wonder of childhood and the stifling practicality of adulthood.
Perhaps we do a disservice to the work even mentioning the low-fi, constructed nature of it — after all, what photography isn’t constructed? There is no “real thing” when it comes to photography, or for that matter, memory, and longing. They are all constructions, and all very low-fi — muddy, blurry, and fragile.