In 2003, when the so-called “It’s me scam” was first becoming known to the public, this crime was perpetrated by people in the so-called underworld. And even now, the crime continues to cause damages of nearly 30 billion JPY a year. Scam is a crime that was originally banned by some gangs as an extra-judicial act. It is extremely abnormal in today’s society, where there is no end to the number of “ordinary people” who commit fraud as a “job” .
When I started working on this project, I read numerous reports and interviews, and while I felt empathy for the situation and psychology of the perpetrators.However, one day, while talking with my parents, I knew that my mom was the target of a special fraud group, and a contradictory feeling began to emerge within me. I spent my days like a member of a con group for shooting. I used rental spaces that could be used as hideouts, hung around areas where scam phone calls were being made, carried luggage, bought tools for the scam, met the elderly, made phone calls, and went to ATM to withdraw money. Although I was not actually committing a crime, I remember I feel nervous. Just as fraud groups play different roles, I created fictional portraits of 90 people based on my own face. It might have looked real documentary.
The relationship between the context and the photographs makes the reader a collaborator in the lie. Special fraud is such a crime. And so it was somewhat of a relief when the images in this work were printed on water-melt paper, melted down, and pretended it all never happened. The fraud group may have felt that way when they were destroying the evidence. The resulting mass of contradictions and lies is this work. In my imagination I was the perpetrator and the victim, but in reality I am a third party. It is the water that is colorless and invisible, but certainly there, encompassing them, which has melted away and become invisible. The way it is will affect them greatly.
Winner for 8th SIPF Best Dummy Book Award
To be co-published by SIPF and IANNBOOKS