“I used to be you” is a private photographing project completed by Japanese female photographer Kyoko Hamada in 2011. In this project, there was a fictitious old woman Kikuchiyo. The photographer acted as the old woman and experienced her life, so as to present us inevitable matters like time, life and aging.
Kikuchiyo bakes bread by herself in the morning. She reads books in a sofa at noon. She needs to ask for the way to a park. She likes looking out of the window to enjoy the scenery in subways. Old as she is, she still visits museums, goes to clothing stores, and sometimes feeds pigeons in a square.
“I act as Kikuchiyo, wearing a gray wig and using latex to make a wrinkled face. I look in the mirror and pretend to be pouting. Imagining Kikuchiyo and I meet one day, I would say to her “Oh, I used to be you.” and she would smile without a word.”
This project lasts one and a half years. “Just as the portrait of Dorian Gray in Oscar Wilde’s novel, I get used to aging and gray. I get the feelings when I lost my father in a tsunami earthquake one year ago. As time goes by, it reminds me of the meaning of life, i.e. life will eventually end”.
Yeah, I used to be you.