Today's Levitation 04/01/2011

Natsumi Hayashi “Today’s Levitation”


Dates: June 16 – July 16, 2012 July 29, 2012 *exhibition has been extended.
Venue: MEM map
open hours:12:00-20:00 closed on Mondays
tel. +81-(0)3-6459-3205

Artist talk: June 16, 18:00 – at NADiff a/p/a/r/t, Guest speaker: Kotaro Iizawa
*Japanese version only

Natsumi Hayashi started her blog “yowayowa camera woman” on January 1, 2011 with a photograph of herself levitating. She titled the photo “Today’s Levitation” and kept uploading a new levitation self-portrait every day, turning it into a one-year project. There are no tricks: her self-portraits are shot a moment after she jumps in to the air, but the resulting image and her expression of nonchalance make it appear as though she actually is floating in mid-air.
Hayashi’s activities are centered on the Internet and include her blog, Twitter (10,900 followers and counting) and Facebook.
A couple months after its launch, her blog sparked a phenomenon of levitation photography in East Asia. Many people began posting their own levitation photos online in Taiwan and Mainland China. Quite a few Asian media introduced her as the “Tokyo Levitation Girl” in newspapers, TV and magazines.
It seems as though the younger generations of developing Asian countries, like China, regard her levitation photos as a symbol of the great leap taken by their society in its rapid progress from the old regime to the current highly developed capitalist system.
Hayashi receives many responses to her blog from all over the world including Asia, North/South America, Scandinavia, Russia and the Middle East.
Her self-portraits and comments were introduced not only in numerous blogs, but also in major media outlets such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
Hayashi says that gravity symbolizes something that binds us. “Lots of people are under the influence of constant daily stress just like everybody is equally under the control of gravity. I hope the viewers can feel emancipation from the stress of daily life when they see my levitation photography.”
“Today’s Levitation” becomes a strong visual message when it’s updated every day through out the year. Hayashi is free in the moment she jumps at any given place on any given day. Her self-portrait is a declaration for releasing oneself from all the fetters of one’s life.