my intangible home

Omoya

My home. What is it? Material structure, physical and emotional sensations in space, a puzzle of fragmentary memories of the first childhood home, as the foundation of all subsequent layers... Or is it something else?


16 years of life in Ukraine, 10 years in Israel, 20 years in Japan. A long practice of reproducing the concept of “home” in different cultural contexts, temporary and life circumstances. At the very edge of the pandemic in January 2020, when the need for identity revision was just beginning to emerge for all of us, I found myself in an art residence in the small town of Kameoka in Japan's Kansai region.
Three weeks spent in the residence unexpectedly became a laboratory for me, where I asked myself the question: “My home. What is it?". I answered this question by observing myself in the physical conditions given to me, establishing close contact with the 90-year-old traditional village house called Omoya in which I lived: its and my history. This research resulted in diary entries, photographs, recordings of house sounds, interviews with its last generation owner and founder of NO-MU Art Residence.

Through observation of the algorithm of behavior, the exploration of a cold space and the sensations in a house that belongs to another family for three generations, I managed to plunge into the “rabbit hole” of my own deep feelings, which form for me a “warm and close” concept of home. And it becomes obvious that “home” for me is not some specific single physical space, but a construct that I reproduce in different geographical places and points in time.


This study was carried out in the context of the search for identity by the residents of the city of Kameoka itself (conversations, interviews with residents). Historically ancient, geographically close to Kyoto - the ancient capital of Japan, the city is being rebuilt, populated by new residents and also raises questions for itself, the answers to which would help its residents with self-identification. These questions are also asked by the founder of the residence - Eiko Tanaka, the owner of Omoya.
I interviewed him at the very end of my residency, when my diary entries were already written. It is interesting to observe how unconsciously we are all in the same process and ask ourselves a simple question that is difficult to answer. Home. What is it?

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