Elena Yamamoto’s works are thoughts bound up in sources, process, and materials: photos made from negatives that my father took when he was just a few years older than myself; the sun-soaked cyanotype prints with their natural, distinctive, and seductive blue; silk in its softness, its play in the light, its living quality; cedar with its scent and preservative property.
All of these materials, all of these things, each personally important and meaningful, are tied and pinned and sewn together—slowly, quietly, meditatively—in order to become a collection of intimate, personal objects. These objects are manifestations of time spent with ideas, created by a repeated motion of the hand, thought on and thought about. Some of them are just small musings, haphazard thoughts made big through the time it took to meditate and make them, while others are those big ideas of family, legacy, intimacy, and relationships, made small and manageable through their expression in the physical.
These objects—reliquaries, even—contain elusive, ineffable thoughts. Words and sentences and explanations tend to limit our understanding of things, failing to capture ideas and experiences in their entirety, reducing the complexities of feelings and emotions to mere sentiment. And so here instead, I, with cautious hands, tug and pull to lay bare my quiet, personal thoughts and moments for you to ponder.