The cover of my new book is an exquisite image by the photographer and artist Mayumi Terada.
But what makes this picture particularly quixotic is that this is not a real room.
Born in Japan and now living in New York, Terada originally trained as a sculptor and her photographs are not what they seem. Her subjects are familiar yet are, in fact, wholly artificial environments and objects. These seemingly simple domestic spaces and intimate landscapes are a miniature world that Terada fashions out of balsa wood and Styrofoam, clay and fabric, and then photographs using strikingly atmospheric lighting.
As Terada explains, these “dollhouses”resonate with her memories:
“I began to make many different kinds of objects for the house – stairs, windows, and curtains – that was how the Dollhouse series came about,” says Terada, who was . The series is mainly based on my memories, which I wanted to share with the audience. I deliberately chose a minimal design, which made the images more universal, regardless of individual tastes in home furnishing… Ultimately everything is painted white. The images are all shot with natural light… I do not use a computer at all…. coming from sculpture and handling plaster, black and white is an obvious choice for me.”