This project is based on my experience with in-vitro fertilization (IVF), which I started at the age of 41. Photographing myself in the dark with a spotlight on me and an exposure of about 60 seconds (The doctor uses 60 seconds to examine the patient on the examination chair.) gave me time to take a long, hard look at myself. At times, it reminded me of the anxious moments on the doctor’s examination chair, the pain of egg retrieval, and the faint anticipation of implantation. In other moments, I felt a sense of calm.M.S
In Japanese, 豊穣 (HOJO) refers to an abundance of land or a good harvest. In English, it usually is translated as “fertility.” In Japan, women have traditionally been worshiped as goddesses of HOJO. The ideal being blessed with abundant crops and many children have been associated with them.
‘HOJO’ (‘Fertility’) started just after she gave up on treatment to cure her infertility. When she saw the unsold vegetables lined up in the markets — the forked carrots and daikon deformed in various ways — she started photographing them along with portraits of herself, feeling she had something in common with them for giving up on her fertility.
This series is an account of her experience, through photographs, sonograms, and other imagery, that allows her to share her journey through the complex promises of a woman’s body. The stark contrast between the red and the black and white talks to the intensity of the struggle between the body and the mind.
There is no moralising intention in her story. There are no heroines, no quest to exorcise the ghost. She conjures instead a world of her own that feels very close to what we have felt but have been unable to articulate in words. Natasha Christia