Kazuma Obara





»Essay/Book Review



What is your dream? and Who am I? Diary from Residency Day 1.

  • 2018/10/23


I am not sure I can continue to write diary until the end of residency. But let’s try. Diary thing is my big challenge in my life. I never made it before. (And there should be so many incorrect sentences (grammatically). But please don’t care them at least you can get the meaning. But I am always welcome your indications to correct my English texts which is also important to avoid misunderstanding.


My residency programme with Docking Station started today in the centre of Amsterdam. Just 1 minutes from Eye museum(which is amazing film museum). Now I am in container and start setting up my staff. There is no toilet, no water supply, but I have amazing view and fantastic neighbourhood who provides me those small missing piece of life.


The ideas of docking station is bit different from general term of “Art Residency”. During this residency, I will meet more than 15 experts from not only photographic industry but also professors/ researcher(historian, archivist) etc. Docking Station plays their roll as hub to connect artist and experts. There are so many thing that I can tell, but this is one of main aspects of this residency. It’s all about project and cultural development in society and community. I will get so many feed back and I will reflect to those and start making project again after(or of course during) my residency.


Today was my first session with Marga Rotteveel, co-founder of Docking station and also curators, adviser. It was excellent start with Marga. Most of her question was essential and good starting point of my residency.


She asked me “What is your dream (through my project)?”
That was quite essential and vital question. This question includes so many another different questions like how to convey the story, which medium I can use, who is the audience etc. And this is the question that creators always tend to forget(I believe this is not only my case) after staring the project.


I started questioning to me.


From 2015, I have been engaging a project about Japanese occupation during World War II and its long lasting effects. Right after her question, I answered, “This project is bringing more attention to the victims who are quite invisible from society and solving the misunderstanding of history. This is my dream. Certainly yes. But after finishing my first session with Marga, I just start thinking again, what is my dream and what was the strong and initial motivation for engaging this project.


One of the answer would be very selfish. If I can say, it’s personal.
The answer is more about my self. More about my identity.


At the very begging period of my project(1 year ago), I was denied to meet survivors of POWs (Prisoners of War) in Netherlands. They were Dutch and captured by Japanese. The reason that I cannot meet them was “I was young Japanese”. My face might be trigger their trauma as victims of young Japanese soldiers. 70 years have passed from the end of WWII. But especially, people who have mental problem(like PTSD) might be triggered their trauma by ME.


It was huge shock for me and since then I started questioning “Who am I. What is Japanese?”
That was my very beginning point to start thinking about Japanese occupation.


Find myself as Japanese would be one of my important dreams.


But this selfish dream is really selfish?
Where does this feeling comes from?
I am feeling like, I am 17 year-old boy, try to find myself and start being backpacker.


Picture: After coming back from Africa as Backpacker.



But it is definitely good starting point to re-think about my project.

Right now, I just decide to make different books to understand every aspect of my project.
From previous experiences, book making steps is very useful to understand my self, my position, my project.


Let’s think about me and environment surrounding my generation.


My parents always told me, there is nothing wasted in our life.
I asked my mum to send me pictures of my young age to remember myself and my motivation.