MAIKO COLORS

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Tokyo Pixie : Yumiko Kikuchi

【Japanese version is below; 日本語は下にあります。】

Tokyo-based writer Yumiko Kikuchi really is a ‘pixie’ in the city. I met her at The Tokyo Art Book Fair 2014 which was held in September and immediately became a fan of her literary and artistic productions, the bi-annual literary magazine “(unintended.) L I A R S” launched in 2012.
Kikuchi’s writing style is poetic, intimate and takes readers on a blissful imaginary journey. Her ideas in writing has been developed in conjunction with her mixed life; born in Tokyo, grew up in seaside district in Kanagawa located next to Tokyo, lived in Los Angeles for advanced aesthetic education such as majoring film in El Camino College then English Literature in the grad school of California State University, and settled back in Tokyo.
Reflecting ‘glass‘, one of the main themes in her magazine, the impression is that it’s multi-dimensional: the writing is a room, photography is a light streaming from the window, and readers are inside. Readers can hear a transparent voice from the story. And in her storytelling style, there is a mixture of adult sophistication and childlike abandon with a sparkle of humor: some episodes in the story remind us of fast-talking city people such as how they effectively communicate an idea in a fast-paced conversation, and in contrast, others evoke a comfortable feeling like spending some time at a nice café. — Her visions cross each other from different angles.
As for the photography, everything is taken by the photographer Matsuki Narishige, Kikuchi’s husband. Having tone and texture that combined by reality, skepsis and fantasy, the great camera-subject distance reflect Kikuchi’s way of looking at things and gently let readers visualize the dynamic scene. It is a beautiful phenomenon.
Kikuchi’s world has a soft and warm glow, thus I can freshly discover the heat of Tokyo. This city is peaceful and warmer than I expected.

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ライター・きくちゆみこ氏に出会ったのは、9月に開催されたThe Tokyo Art Book Fair 2014。都会でマイナスイオンを発している「妖精」のような彼女の書く作品に、たちまちわたしはのめり込んだ。
2012年に刊行が始まったきくち氏の文芸誌シリーズ(unintended.) L I A R S — (彼女はこの作品のシリーズを「嘘つきたちのための」ちいさな文芸誌、と描写する)。内容は私的で詩的で、読者を1日のどの時間においても心地よい想像の旅に連れていく資質がある。
東京で生まれ現在も住み、その間に神奈川県での暮らし、El Camino Collegeで映画を、California State University, Long Beach の大学院で英文学を学んだロサンゼルスでの暮らしを挟んだ、彼女の世界観。それは作品のテーマのうちの一つ、「ガラス」とリンクし、透明感を持って作品に反映される。ときに少女のように奔放な感情が交錯するが、決して気まぐれや思いつきだけではない、背筋のピンとなるような上品さとユーモアが同居した章立て。また、都市生活者の早口さやエネルギッシュに短時間でアピールをするような語り口と、気持ちの良いカフェで一息ついている時のような語り口を交互に楽しめる。
そして、彼女の執筆スタイルにさらなる彩りを添える写真たち。これらはすべて、きくち氏の夫で写真家の成重松樹氏が撮影している。幻想と現実と懐疑が混ざった質感の写真たちは、被写体としてのきくち氏と彼女の目線を映し、パズルゲームがうまくできていく感覚のように文章たちと調和しながら、ふんわりと大きな情景を与えてくれる。
わたしは東京のエネルギーとその鮮やかさを新しく、温かい温度で発見することができた。-MAIKO

ZH87632T[1] Photo coutesy of Matsuki Narishige via Yumiko Kikuchi’s twitter

1 Photo courtesy of Matsuki Narishige

2 Photo courtesy of Matsuki Narishige

3 Photo courtesy of Matsuki Narishige

4 Photo courtesy of Matsuki Narishige

5 Photo courtesy of Matsuki Narishige

6 Photo courtesy of Matsuki Narishige

7 Photo courtesy of Matsuki Narishige

8 Photo courtesy of Matsuki Narishige

-The latest issue of Yumiko Kikuchi’s zine, (unintended.) L I A R S vol.3 is now in stores (available only in Tokyo and West Japan as of Nov 2014, but click HERE for further information)

きくちゆみこ氏の新作 (unintended.) L I A R S vol.3は東京都内と関西地区で発売中。詳しくはこちらをご覧ください。

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