Cling & Embrace
(Exhibition Archive)
2024/01/05-21
solo exhibition 
at FILTER Gallery






Photo:小泉菜摘 / Natsumi Koizumi(1-11)













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Waking Dreams




A few months before that event, I had been going to hypnosis regularly. I felt alone at the time and couldn't solve the problems that were weighing on my body and mind. So, I decided to do something that hadn't been an option before. I had expressed myself many times in counseling but that was not enough to solve the problem, and the causes I could think of were only one-dimensional and shallow ways of dealing with the problem.

Therefore, we felt it was necessary to delve into the unconscious, which was different from our language. What is there in the ocean that cannot be seen from the tip of the iceberg?




May 7

Thrilled, I headed to the clinic. It is a psychosomatic clinic that also offers hypnosis. The way to the clinic from the station is easy: go straight through the ticket gate, turn right at the open road, and there you are. In front of the entrance, two adorable Shigaraki-glazed baby raccoon  dogs greeted us, looking up at  me in an adorable pose.

When I opened the door, it was very quiet and dimly lit, with only the light coming in through the window and the lights of the reception desk dimly lighting the corridor leading to the waiting room and the examination rooms. The walls were decorated with pictures of birch trees and landscapes.

I told my name and the time of my appointment, sat down, and waited. At the end of the corridor, a door opened.

“Come in.”

I was greeted by a small doctor who was wearing a casual shirt and square glasses. I felt comfortable with the doctor, who showed a kind expression and had a scholarly impression.

   I was waiting with anticipation for the first time I would receive hypnosis. However, the doctor suggested to start with counseling. The reason was that he thought he needed to listen to me a little more and that hypnosis is relatively expensive because it is not covered by insurance.




May 15

A week later I visited the clinic again. With a box of tissues.

I was so emotional during my first visit that I used a lot of the clinic's tissues, so this time I brought my own in case of tears. The doctor who welcomed me gently said, “You are the first person to bring a box of tissues all the way here. You don't have to bring them next time." After that, I told my story more calmly and dispassionately than I had done during the previous visit. The first counseling session lasted one hour, and the second session lasted about 30 minutes. By the second session, I no longer had anything to talk about. When I told him that I did not need any more counseling because I felt hypnosis was the solution to my problem, he made up his mind and answered, “Well then, let's try hypnosis next time.”


What do you imagine when you hear the word hypnosis?

A coin dangling from the string, or someone starts acting like a bird after being told so?




One of the major characteristics I have found in my research on hypnosis is that no matter how hypnotized a person is, “you can't make anyone say or do anything they don't want to.”









About Safety

May 26

The day of my first hypnosis session has arrived. The waiting room was quiet, but the occasional faint voice leaking from the treatment room pervades the dimly lit room.

As I observed my surroundings, the talking gradually got closer, and the door in front of me opened. A woman who appeared to be pregnant, a man accompanying her, and the doctor came out. After a friendly conversation, the doctor saw them off at the door.

The doctor smiled at me and said, “I'm going to the restroom." and went to the restroom. A few minutes later, he came out of the bathroom and quickly walked past me, entering through the door from the front. After a few minutes, the door from the back opened and he welcomed me. It seems like the door from the front and the back were connected.

When I entered the room, I was encouraged to sit in the chair in front. The doctor took a seat at the back and began speaking to me, showing concern for my well-being. Afterward, the doctor adjusted the gap between my neck and the chair with a towel, inquiring about the need for a blanket and whether the placement of my hands was comfortable. It seemed the doctor was preparing me for hypnosis. The hypnosis session would last about fifty minutes, during which I would remain seated in one chair. It appeared that these adjustments were made to minimize distractions and help me focus on the hypnosis.

Removing my glasses, I was prompted to close my eyes and take deep breaths, signaling the beginning of the hypnosis.

"Inhale... exhale..."

The doctor prompted, and I followed suit with deep breaths. The doctor's breathing was gentle, reminiscent of the sound of waves on a beach. After a few breaths, the doctor spoke softly, their voice penetrating.

"Now, as you continue to feel your breath, let's feel the warmth enveloped in the blanket around your stomach. It will transfer to your hands resting on your stomach. Do you feel the warmth?"

With my eyes closed, I nodded faintly.



"Yes. Now, please continue to breathe. Feel that warmth descending to your feet, spreading down to the soles of your feet. The warmth will spread to the soles of your feet touching the ground. How does it feel?"

I nodded again. It wasn't difficult to imagine the warmth spreading to my feet as instructed. I was accustomed to focusing on my body due to my experience with bodywork.

"The warmth that has spread from your stomach, hands, and feet will now spread throughout your entire body. Allow yourself to feel reassured throughout your whole body."

The doctor's quiet voice gradually became more majestic, attempting to guide me with their dynamic narration.

However, unpleasant images began to emerge from somewhere. Images of lines drawn with the force of a broken pencil lead, and the sound of paper being ripped apart, both surfaced. These images were completely disconnected from the "warmth" and "reassurance" the doctor encouraged, growing larger and gradually enveloping my body.




I couldn't bear it any longer and said, "I'm sorry. Chaotic images keep coming up, and I can't visualize properly..." Sensing some danger, the doctor's tone changed distinctly, "Alright, let's take three breaths. Open your eyes firmly on the third breath."






"Inhale... exhale... inhale... exhale... Last one. Inhale... exhale... Alright, open your eyes firmly."

I opened my eyes. The images that had surfaced during hypnosis weren't pleasant. I couldn't quite recall the conversation or events afterward, but I made a reservation for the next session anyway.




Star

June 15th

The second hypnosis session took place two weeks later. As before, I entered the room and the doctor inquired about my well-being before adjusting the seating. This time, the adjustments seemed to be made more comfortably than before.




Then, I began deep breathing in the same way.

"Inhale... exhale... inhale... exhale... inhale... exhale..."

The doctor prompted deep breaths while breathing deeply himself. When the breaths had deepened, the doctor said, "Stars are shining in the dark sky. The stars are moving slowly." I tried to imagine it, but they spun at astonishing speeds and the night was about to end.

Furthermore, while I wanted to focus on the stars in the night sky, another light kept distracting me, hindering my concentration.

Though the room was dimly lit, even with my eyes closed, faint light seeped through my eyelids. I knew that places where stars shone brightly were much darker. During my student days, I was a member of the astronomy club, and during our camps, we would walk through forests during the day and observe stars in pitch-black locations at night. That enveloping darkness wasn't present here.

Despite the doctor's efforts to describe the beautiful night scene, I couldn't immerse myself, and time passed. When the hypnosis ended, I candidly disclosed my experience. I mentioned how the celestial bodies in my mind were too busy and that places where stars were visible were darker and deeper. The doctor expressed interest in my past involvement with the astronomy club, saying, "Your experiences in the astronomy club must have been wonderful memories."

After a brief silence, the doctor asked me, "Where do you see yourself going in the future?"

I couldn't answer that question well on the spot. It felt like I was being asked to provide a clear reason for being there.



After leaving the clinic, I pondered on "what I wanted to achieve (through this hypnosis)." Since I could navigate social life without any issues, there wasn't a compelling reason for me to come here. Yet, I undeniably felt a need to visit, though articulating the reason proved exceedingly difficult.

I see hypnosis as a kind of journey to converse with the unconscious self.

Often, I find myself hiding my thoughts to an uncontrollable extent and adapting to my surroundings, sometimes without even realizing it. While seemingly trivial, this has led me off course from where I truly want to be, and I've ended up in undesired places numerous times. However, merely adapting doesn't mean I lack my thoughts. At those times, a clear reason surfaced for me to undergo hypnosis: "I want to reclaim agency over myself."



Raising My Hand

June 30th

I arrived for the third hypnosis session. After discussing recent events, I haltingly conveyed the answer I had arrived at during the previous session's inquiry.

"Last time, I couldn't answer the question about what I wanted to achieve. I've been thinking about it a lot since then. No one told me to do this, but I realized that while I often adapt to others, it doesn't mean I lack opinions of my own. So, I want to reclaim agency over myself. That's why I'm here.

But right now, I feel powerless. I know where I want to go, but I lack the strength to get there. So, I'm asking for your help, Doctor. I want you to row the boat while I point the direction. I want you to assist me in moving in the direction I indicate. I want us to embark on this journey of the heart together."

"That sounds good," the doctor replied with enthusiasm.

And with that, the hypnosis began. First, adjustments were made for comfort while seated, and my glasses were removed. This time, there was an instruction that it was not necessary to close my eyes.

I take deep breaths as usual and surrender to the doctor's guidance.

"Now, focus on your right hand as you sit. Gradually, feel the weight of your hand becoming lighter, as it begins to rise..."




To be honest, without my glasses, I couldn't tell if my hand was rising or not. But what I did know for certain was the feeling of not wanting to permit my hand to rise. In the end, my hand didn't rise within the range of my perception. I had never once complied with the doctor's guidance, and my mind was filled with resistance. At that moment, what I truly wondered was whether I had the earnest intention to undergo hypnosis and whether I had the motivation.

When I expressed this desire to resist, the doctor said, "Let's cherish the feelings you've experienced." Hearing that we should cherish those feelings of resistance felt like profound advice. Everyday life doesn't work this way. For someone like me who often conforms, it felt like an important step in reclaiming agency. I also aspired to become someone who could say to others, "Let's cherish those feelings," when their intentions didn't align with mine.



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July 15th

As the next counseling session approached, one day on my way to work, I had a moment of realization where I noticed the presence of a figure larger than myself. It might sound abrupt, but I'd like you to hear me out with the understanding that truth can be stranger than fiction.

The "figure larger than myself" wasn't something visible; it was an image I perceived. It felt like hearing noises from the attic, where you can't see anything but are convinced there's a mouse or something up there.

This presence was both like a mother figure and yet larger, silently lowering its gaze and moving slowly, leaving a strong impression.




July 15th

On my way to work, I noticed a version of myself that was larger than life. It had the same form as me but was much larger, resembling a mother figure, silently lowering its gaze and moving slowly. Until now, I had felt a childlike version of myself separate from my own identity. I felt like I had been holding hands with that child, constantly reassuring them. So, I had been in a state of tension, feeling pressured to be independent. However, when I noticed that larger version of myself, I felt like I was that person's child. I comforted my smaller self, and in turn, I was comforted by my larger self. It felt like a cycle of child and mother.






July 17th

God remains silent. I believe that's true.

And so, my God remains silent, moving slowly.




July 18th

The slow movement is like a whisper of silence. Silence doesn't signify rejection; it's a state of quietly comforting. I felt the presence of a child, gripping my hand in fear, pleading for something. While I want to accept their plea, I'm tormented by a strong sense of rejection. "But... but..." the child whispers in fear. It seems like a small boy. Wait? This isn't me. Why is it a boy?





3

These diary entries reflect what I've felt over the past few days. The phrase "God remains silent," which I've heard somewhere before, might mean something like this. Simply being there, existing at the moment without doing anything, like an essential element such as the sea or the wind, constantly moving yet still present.

And over a few days, I realized that the child was a boy. I thought of the child that emerged as my inner child. The inner child refers to the childhood emotions and self that lie within adults, a psychological concept where past experiences influence present behavior and emotions. However, why was the gender male?












Vase

July 20th

After experiencing such mysterious days, the day of my appointment arrived. I've tried hypnosis before, attempting to "feel at ease," "imagine beautiful nature," and "raise my hand as instructed," but I couldn't immerse myself successfully. What will happen today? I sit, as usual, close my eyes, and deepen my breath. My consciousness drifts away slowly, and then the doctor speaks to me.

"There is a vase in front of you. What shape is it?"

"...It's yellow and distorted. Sort of like Yayoi Kusama's work..."

"I see. Does the vase have a lid?"

"Yes."

"Alright, what about the next vase?"

"(It looks like it could contain a delicious secret sauce.) It's a shiny red-black vase. Also, there's a simple red clay vase and one with a warped red and white polka dot pattern. And... a blue..."

"Let's stop there. How are the vases arranged?"

"They are arranged side by side on a long table."

"Alright, what's inside each vase? When you open the lid of the yellow and distorted vase, what do you see?"

Since my eyes are closed, I'm not sure, but the doctor is probably taking notes about the vases I described and speaking accordingly. I imagine the vase again as instructed. This vase seems interesting, but its bright yellow color feels somewhat off-putting.

"Um, it contains clear water. Very cold."

As I peek inside the vase, surprisingly, there’s clear, cold water like a spring. The inside of the vase resembles a well, with droplets echoing as they fall onto the surface. It's unexpected content from its appearance, and I feel a bit relieved.

"I see. Now, does the shiny red-black vase have a lid?"

"Yes."

"Then, what's inside when you open it?"

The next vase seems like one that would contain a secret sauce found in traditional eateries.

"It contains a viscous brown liquid, like lacquer... or sauce."

"I understand. Now, what about the simple red clay vase?"

"It doesn't have a lid."

"I see. What's inside?"

"There's nothing. It's empty."

The simple red clay vase, with its smooth material, contains nothing.

"I see. And what about the warped red and white polka dot vase? Does it have a lid?"

"Yes, it does. And inside... there's something grotesque, like organs, moving around."

Inside, something grotesque, resembling organs, is moving.

There's an unexpected difference between the appearance and contents of the vases lined up on the table.

"Now, among the vases in front of you, which one do you want to enter first?"

"The red-brown vase."

"Alright, let's enter."

"...Inside, there's nothing, but it's peaceful, like being inside a building. The rough texture of the pottery feels comforting."

Inside the vase, I enjoy tracing the space and the rough texture of the pottery with my hands. I'm a big fan of a certain writer, and there isn't a day I don't think about her. Inside this red-brown vase, I feel something reminiscent of the spaces she creates.

"I understand. Now, please come out of the red-brown vase."

Leaving from within felt a bit regrettable.

"Have you come out of the vase?"

"...Yes."

"Then, please close the lid."

"...Yes."

"Please choose the next vase you'd like to enter."

"The yellow, distorted vase, please."

"Then, please enter inside."

"...Inside, it's clear like well water, very cold and comforting."

Inside, the water was crystal clear, with flickers of light reflecting off it. The cold water felt pleasant, reminding me of swimming in a large river in the past. It was a very pleasant vase.

"Understood. Now, please come out of the yellow, distorted vase. ...Have you come out from inside the vase?"

"...Yes."

"Then, please close the lid."

"...Yes."

"Please choose the next vase you want to enter."

"I'd like the shiny red-black vase."

"Then, let's go inside."

"...I've entered. Inside... it feels like there's some kind of sauce or crude oil, very smooth and interesting."

Inside the vase, there's a viscous, odorless, reddish-brown liquid like a secret sauce or crude oil covering the surface. It's like a comedian slipping on a high-viscosity liquid spread across the ground, a place so enjoyable that it's almost bursting with laughter. I had so much fun inside the vase that I couldn't help but let out cries of joy.



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"I see. Then... let's exit from the shiny red-black vase."

"Have you come out of the vase?"

"...Yes."

"Then, please close the lid."

"...Yes."



"Lastly... the distorted red and white polka dot vase, right? Then, let's go inside."

"...No, I don't want to go in. Please wait a moment."

I hesitated to enter the vase. It was too unfamiliar. To enter the vase, I needed to prepare myself mentally. However, despite my resistance, I decided to confront the unfamiliar.

Suppressing my resistance, I imagined myself entering the vase with its distorted shape. After a moment of silence, I described what I saw inside:

"...The vase is filled with wriggling organs, covering every inch, like a single living entity. It's chaotic, to be honest. I feel uneasy and don't know what to do."

Even though I entered, I wanted to get out quickly. Then, like a lifeline, the voice of the doctor came:

"I see. Then... let's exit from the distorted red and white polka dot vase. Have you exited the vase?"

"...Yes. I've come out and firmly closed the lid."

Coming out, I let out a sigh of relief.




"Okay, let's step back far enough to see all the vases we've gathered."

"...Stepped back."

"Now, let's decide where to place each vase. Where should we put each one?"

"Understood. First, I placed the red clay vase next to me. Then, I stored the other vases in the thick-walled warehouse. The yellow, distorted vase was placed on the floor near the entrance of the warehouse... Um, the glossy red-black vase was placed on the middle shelf. As for the red and white polka dot vase... I emptied the warehouse of all its contents, placed it at the very back, and covered it with the items I removed."




The placement of the vases was quickly decided. I felt reassured having the red clay vase nearby as I quite liked it. What I found interesting was that, although I had a favorable impression of both the yellow vase and the glossy red-black vase, similar to the red polka dot vase, I stored them in the warehouse with thick walls. Perhaps, regardless of whether it was good or bad, I didn't want anything too stimulating to be placed nearby.




"Understood. Okay, let's take three deep breaths. Open your eyes firmly on the third breath."




"Inhale... exhale... Inhale... exhale... One more time. Inhale... exhale. Alright, now open your eyes firmly."




As if pulled up by the voice of the doctor, my consciousness became clear, and I opened my eyes.

For the first time, I felt that hypnosis had worked well. What was different from previous hypnosis might be the lack of a specific purpose. Previously, "feeling reassured," "imagining beautiful nature," and "raising my hand as instructed" were all passive actions of following instructions, but "associating with the vase" was very active.

I told the doctor that today's hypnosis was very interesting, made the next appointment, and left the clinic. As I walked, reflecting on the events, a sudden change occurred between the imaginary me and the child who had been with me since the other day.

The big me lifted the little boy. Then, the boy who had been crying near me for a long time stopped crying and was held with a taken aback expression on his face. And now, he appeared even younger, cradled in my arms. I felt truly relieved. No matter how gently I spoke or how much time I spent, I felt I couldn't stop his crying or resolve his overwhelming sadness. The big me holding the child is calm, almost serene. I felt lighter and went home.




Tomorrow is my birthday, and I plan to spend it like any other day. I'll do some work in the morning and attend to various aspects of my projects.

It's just another mundane day. But I'm truly happy to be able to spend time without any fear. It's indeed a happy birthday.













That night.

As I pondered over what that child might have been, I suddenly felt a sinking sensation in my consciousness, accompanied by a tenseness in my body.

"Oh, it's him."

The person who had cried out to me, clinging to me as if for dear life, was someone I recognized. With that realization, it became apparent why I had perceived the inner child, whose gender I had thought to be male.




With this in mind, I took a shower before going to bed. During that, the big me and the child being held in her  arms were still close to me. 

As I was foaming shampoo in my hair, suddenly the big me kissed that child on the lips, as if to show me.Then it would seem as if I had kissed that child. In an instant, disgust and hatred welled up in me, the moment when emotions became words and whether or not my feelings were verbalized, the big I, in response to my feelings, twisted the child's head off.

I could not hide my shock at what had happened, and the child disappeared in that instant, and the big me became like a little dog ghost. With no idea why, I rinsed off my body covered in shampoo foam and went back to my room.

As I dried my hair, I just stood there wondering what had happened. I went to sleep that night, not understanding at all, and the next morning, I kept thinking about it, but I still had no idea.




Afterward, I underwent hypnosis once again.

Continuing from the previous session, the task was to enter the vase. Just like last time, the vase remained in the storage room, and I retrieved it, entering it in the same sequence.

The simple and rustic red clay vase was still quiet with nothing inside, and light penetrated the dark vase, creating a space where shadows and light complemented each other beautifully.




The yellow, distorted vase still contained clear water.

In the red-black glossy vase, there were wristwatches and metal objects submerged in a high-viscosity liquid, while in the distorted red and white polka-dot vase, the same visceral-like entity continued to wriggle, leaving me unsure how to deal with it. However,If something visceral-like were to lose its vitality, I would feel lonely.

  Overall, I felt that the resolution of this space was clearer than the last time.




Afterward, I intended to make the next appointment, but the schedule wasn't set, so I decided to call for an appointment on another day.

I still don't understand what that strange event was all about. Until now, I've always attached concepts to my artwork, ultimately conveying messages that were somewhat positive or aimed toward a brighter direction. However, the events of these past few weeks were unexpectedly divergent from that, detached from societal norms.

After a few days passed, I realized I had forgotten to schedule the next hypnosis appointment. But at that moment, I felt it was okay not to go anymore. I thought perhaps now was the right time to stop. Since then, I haven't been back to the clinic.




Since then, the strange occurrences within myself have been gradually losing their clarity, fading away day by day along with my memories. I feel they are blending into me, gradually fading away inside.






”Waking Dream”

(euglena)





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