We Oui!
Fumiko Imano (Japan)

We Oui!

15 – 26 February 2012
10am – 6pm
The Atelier, National Museum of Singapore
Admission is free


World Premiere

Since 2002, Japanese artist Fumiko Imano has developed an ongoing project as a means of self-healing, excavating her own massive identity crisis as she adapts to living in an adult society. Imano has been a nomad, spending her childhood in Rio de Janeiro before moving back to Japan, and then later moving to the UK to study art and fashion photography. This sense of dislocation has become an integral focus in her art work.

“If I were a pair of twins, I want to stay as a child, so as to enjoy life by being more playful!”

Imano began splicing photographs of herself, creating instant twins collaged in a naïve, playful fashion with scissors and glue. Through this process, she creates an intriguing dialogue by being both subject and object, reality and fiction, re-staging herself in a variety of environments from home settings to famous monuments. Her childlike and candid images are uplifting, joyful and life-affirming – yet, the portrayal of twins hint at issues dealing with the multiplicity of identities, self-image, companionship and body politics.

We Oui! invites visitors people to participate in the communication of these images taken since 2002, as well as new pieces, artefacts and video projections. As part of the Fringe, Imano also invites members of the public to contribute woollen objects (such as booties, sweaters, etc.), which will be made by the artist into cute "omamori" (Japanese amulets) – these items of the past will be refrabricated into charms to protect your future.

Relationship to Art & Faith

We Oui! explores the notion of an eternal childhood through the project involving duplicated twins of the artist.

Through the work and video footage, Imano seeks to show children's vibrant and firm belief in life, as they strive to achieve hope through seemingly banal moments of everyday life – step by step, little by litter, with their honesty, feelings and humour. Their attitude may be imperfect yet pure and child-like, their life-affirming belief robust. Children by and large possess strong faith in their choices and deeds, and their light and playful attitudes have never failed to be uplifting.

The collage feel of Imano's work plays with this idea of belief for the viewers as well – they may well be aware of the duplicity in the splicing of her own photos to create fake companions to herself, and yet, they may choose to believe in that despite the obvious nature of the "cut and paste" work. Two versions of realities are thus presented, and their borderline (or faultline) remains as evidence of the fakeness of what Imano seeks to show: that she is unique.

We Oui! (pronounced "we we") was originally created for the twins portraiture series. "We" indicates the twosome of the twins, as well as the idea of a global community; “Oui” (“yes” in French) symbolise the positive reaction towards that possibility of union.

The twins in Imano's works are excitedly shouting, "Yes, We Can!" to the audience from the bottom of their hearts.

All photo credits belong to Fumiko Imano