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Letters from Nowhere

1940s / 2016—2022

drawings on transparent paper over postcards

10 x 15 cm  each

The artist found the postcards which her grandfather sent to his family in Japan in the 1940s, while he was stationed as a soldier of the Empire of Japan (1868–1947) in China, after his death.

On the front of the postcards, presumably for censorship purposes, he writes something rambling. On the reverse side, war painters of the time depict the peaceful China and Japanese soldiers. Both contents are very different from the grim reality of the war.

When the artist found these postcards, she didn’t know what to do with this evidence of the history. So she wrapped them in translucent paper and traced her grandfather’s words and the painters’ pictures over it in an attempt to pursue the past. In this work, the original historical information is faded and obscured; all that is visible is the black lines which she drew in the present.

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