As the title suggests, “Incubation Diary” can be understood as a video documentary focusing mainly on the process of collecting larvae of the Asian constable butterfly (Dichorragia nesmachus), and subsequently raising those. While making up the centerpiece of this work, however, these recordings are interspersed with footage of the artist’s sister’s graduation ceremony, a piano recital, and destinations of AOYAGI’s travels alone or with her family, as well as images of the artist herself filmed with other people’s cameras. In multiple time-spaces that unfold in parallel or conflicting ways, several plot threads are tied together and juxtaposed with the artist’s monologue, to create a “diary”—or “meta-documentary” as the artist puts it—that, as a whole, has a unique narrative quality almost like a tale about a person’s upgrowth.
Combining multiple individually filmed footage into one image projected onto a screen inside the exhibition space, the work describes and reconstructs the time spent by the artist from different perspectives. By employing such techniques, Aoyagi reexamines the characteristics of the diary as a means of accounting, and continues her pursuit of contemporary narrative styles that treat video devices in a perfectly natural way.
AOYAGI has been working on the “Incubation Diary” series continuously since 2011. For this exhibition, she reassembled a new work from material including recent “Incubation Diary” footage documenting her repeated hunt for butterfly larvae in the mountains between 2014 and 2016.