UBI SUNT by Kyoko Matsunaga

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The title is a Latin phrase meaning "Where are those who were before us?". I took photos of the flowers placed on the countless graves in my neighborhood cemeteries as they made me realize that each person alive today has their own irreplaceable memories connected to the beloved people who have passed away. Since the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, I've been feeling uneasy with the number of deaths reported daily every time when a large-scale disaster occurs, and the current Covid-19 pandemic also has me pondering the quiet prayers of individuals far removed from the hysterical reports of high death toll (as of 2020).

The proportion of this accordion book is based on the folding screens Morning Glories by Kiitsu Suzuki (1796–1858) as a piece that gives a sense of an infinite loop motion. I placed lively flowers on the left and withering flowers on the right to represent the cycle of nature.

Artist Bio

Kyoko Matsunaga was born in Hyogo, Japan in 1981. She lives and works in Kyoto. Her BFA in Printmaking was received from Kyoto Seika university. After graduation, she moved to Tokyo and studied with a bookbinder, Yo Yamazaki, to shape her book art more unerringly. She also had lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for three years between 2010 and 2013. There, she absorbed the culture of America and the contemporary style of book art. Her works are included in many private and public collections, and has been seen in numerous exhibitions in Japan and abroad.