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Ritsuko Matsushita Photo Exhibition I Will Return to the Universe Someday

When I was a kid, I didn’t know where I began or where I ended. Even my fingers and toes seemed so far away that I was marveled by being able to move them at will. But, then, if I was in a field or on a beach, I felt like I reached across the whole expanse from end to end. I couldn’t reconcile with being just a body. I often wondered why I occupied my body in the first place. In fact, my imagination would sometimes get the best of me and I’d picture myself broken up into thousands of tiny pieces and scattered by the wind. As frightful as it was, the thought was liberating at the same time. I wanted to keep that feeling, but it regretfully faded away as I grew up.

I still am not convinced sometimes by my own physical existence, that everything I am and am not is defined by what is separated into inside and outside by a thin layer of skin. That train of thought seems so heartless. If you reduce it down to the cellular level, most everything I was one year ago has been completely made over today. So, doesn’t that make me someone else? It would be stranger to think it’s still me.

In the end, I am no more than a bunch of elements that were scattered across the universe by some supernova. They just so happen to come together right now in this body of mine. But, after I die, I will be reduced to elements and scattered across in the universe again. In Zen, they say, “Nothing exists unto itself; everything is just an assemblage of things.” Harboring doubts about the physical world may just come natural to me.

As I see it, I am but part of the universe to which one day I will return.

Explanation of Works
Talk with Tsutomu Takasaki, Chief of Abox Photo Academy
(In Japanese)

Online view of her works
(In Japanese)

Ritsuko Matsushita Profile

Born in Yokohama, Kanagawa. Formerly began studying photography in 2013. Currently active as a photographer.

Heavily influenced by the world of picture books and children’s literature she read as a child, and the teachings of Zen, which she encountered as an adult. Feels that there is no escaping the thought that “all things are intangible, fluid and constantly changing”. When does anything become something? And, how long does it stay that way? This perspective pervades her work.

Official website

Awards

  • Winner, Project Grant Category, Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards (KLPA) 2021
  • Jurors’ Pick, LensCulture Journeys 2020
  • Finalist, COVID-19 Pandemic Special Exhibition, Reminders Photography Stronghold Gallery
  • Shortlist, Creative Category, Professional Competition, Sony World Photography Awards 2020
  • Honorable Mention, New Cosmos Photography 2019
  • Getty Images Nomination, Onaeba 2018 at CP+, Yokohama
  • 4th Place, Visitors’ “My Choice”, Onaeba 2017 at CP+, Yokohama
  • 2nd Place, Visitors’ “My Choice”, Onaeba 2016 at CP+, Yokohama
  • Mayor of Yokohama Nomination and 3rd Place, Visitors’ “My Choice”, Onaeba 2015 at CP+, Yokohama

*Participated in Yokohama Onaeba as “Maturyu & Maturi Co.”

Exhibitions

2021
Abox Photo Academy Photo Exhibition 2021
2020
Abox Photo Club Toyama 2020 Photo Exhibition
Finalist Group Exhibition, COVID-19 Pandemic Special Exhibition, Reminders Photography Stronghold Gallery
Sony World Photography Awards 2020 Exhibition
2019
New Cosmos Photography 2019
Abox Photo Academy Photo Exhibition 2019
Onaeba 2019 at CP+, Yokohama
2018
“KONTRAPUNKT”, Robert Adachi Photo Workshop
2017
“À Chloris”, Robert Adachi Photo Workshop
2013
Nadar Graduates Photo Exhibition