Sokohi by Moe Suzuki
Signed copies only of this limited 76 printed copies
Sokohi is a Japanese word in use since the 16th century as a general term for optical disease causing visual impairment, which literally means “shadow in the bottom.”
As she witnesses her father who lives with her gradually losing his eyesight due to glaucoma, this work expresses the inner life of her father, which is hard for a clear-eyed person like Suzuki to imagine, but she can’t help but imagine what it is like to lose his eyesight and how he is dealing with this fact. He attempts to express a quiet experience of a world that others can see but his father cannot, or cannot see as he sees it.
My father’s glaucoma is such a case. Daily medication for fourteen years and surgery did not particularly control his high eye pressure, which caused slow but progressive visual field defects. He wakes up to a slightly darker morning every day, and when he tries to grab something his hands often grasp at the air instead of the item.
Although he appears to accept his fate calmly as his blindness progresses, there are moments when he clings desperately to his wavering sight as if fighting to stop it from disappearing completely.
At the same time, he builds a wall around himself to protect himself from the sympathy of people who can see what he cannot see and cannot see what he can see. Peeking behind this wall I see glimpses of my father’s figure moving in and out of the shadow in the bottom, walking unsteadily, but firmly seeking out new ways to perceive the world around him. His journey towards blindness goes back and forth between light and shadow, like waves pushing and pulling to and from the seashore.