About Spaces Between says Tom: The concept and construction of personal space is highly variable, both individually and culturally. I am often struck by the ways in which boundaries are marked between one home and another in Japanese cities. The astonishing density of urban populations leaves little room for expansive gestures of identity and separation, but the need to define some degree of individuality and ownership persists. Scrupulous order, casual neglect, idiosyncratic details, improbable gardens, and countless other factors play their roles in delineating one space from another in the midst of seemingly endless sameness. The superficial uniformity that appears to dominate when these environments are seen from a distance dissolves into infinite variety when seen close up. The personal and the cultural are seamlessly fused in these quiet but clear assertions of individual lives taking a stand against anonymity.
Tom Finke – artist, author, educator. MFA; University of Cincinnati.