Déjà Vu: Split Perception as One

A Photo Exhibit by Shin Sugino

By Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Copyright © 2023 Shin Sugino

Tokyo 2017 | Museo Vaticano 2018 (2017/2018) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Dreams. Illusions. Memories. Reality. 

We conflate these in the mind daily, resulting in a sense of déjà vu, 
split perception as one. 

For me, the exploration of this phenomenon has become a pilgrimage,
a quest to visually represent the elements that comprise the sense of 
déjà vu.

Museo San Marco, Firenze 2021 | Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze 2021 (2021) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

How does a dream align with what is real? 

Ca'Rezzonico, Venezia | Museo Vaticano (2018/2019) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Toronto 2016 | Roma 2021 (2016/2021) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

These images pair people seen, places visited and bodies caressed in dreams with those I have encountered in life. 

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Venezia 2018 | Chiesa di San Michele in Isola, Venezia 2016 (2016/2018) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

I have drawn from more than 50 years of travel and personal encounters to create rich and detailed photographs that represent my life experiences.

But for me, there is more, there is an endgame: Affirmation — a gratifying cognizance that there is a reason why I’ve captured an image. 

Déjà vu is reality.




 

Museo Correr, Venezia 2018 | Toronto 2016 (2016/2018) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Roma 2019 | Venezia 2017 (2017/2019) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Born in Japan and raised by French nuns, I initially studied to become a priest, but I became disillusioned and went to Canada to take up photography. 

I have always felt part of many cultures but at home in none.

Aix-en-Provence, France 1979 (1979) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Santiago de Cuba, 1996 | Uffizi, Firenze 2021 (1996/2021) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Perhaps as a remedy, for more than five decades, I have used my camera unflinchingly to explore the themes of my experience, among them the contradictions and limitations of Catholicism and the connections I’ve made with subjects that served as a substitute for family.

Waterworks, Toronto 1996 (1996) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Asakusa, Tokyo 2016 (2016) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

So there are refrains that echo throughout my work: religious zeal, sensuous forms, concealed identity, cultural dislocation and suffering, and redemption through art. 

My images are black and white, devoid of colourful distractions.

As such, they are a simple, unfettered way to convey what has made me.

Ponte di Rialto, Venezia 2018 (2018) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Marjut diptych B, Toronto 1996 (1996) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

The irony of a photographer as an outsider, of course, is that the resulting image transforms me into an insider.

Marjut diptych A , Toronto 1996 (1996) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

The viewer can see what I chose to capture and imagine what I did not. I’ve become intertwined with the subject. 

Rio dei Bareteri, Venezia 2019 | Ca'Rezzonico 2018 (2018/2019) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Badlands, Alberta 1995 (1995) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

My art may not be a remedy, after all, but it has brought me closer to belonging than I ever thought imaginable.

Piazetta di San Marco, Venezia (2018) by Shin SuginoJapanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Déjà Vu: Split Perception as One

By Shin Sugino
Available for viewing at the 
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto, Canada
May 1 - July 28, 2023

Credits: Story

Copyright © 2023 Shin Sugino

Exhibition Curator
Su Yen Chong

Curatorial Team
Theressa Takasaki, Jane Nakagawa, Doug LeClerc, Katherine Adachi, Hitoshi Murakami, Katherine Yamashita

Vice President of Heritage, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
Karen Webb

Writer
Dré De

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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