Henrika Ringbom [Finland]
2018.04.25 - 2018.04.25
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Henrika Ringbom is a Finland-Swedish poet, living in Helsinki. Since her debut in 1988 she has published several collections of poetry, novels and essays. She also translates Finnish poetry into Swedish. For her, writing is creating something organic, the text grows, creates its own laws and becomes more intricate and stable over time, like trees and plants do. It is an act both of defiance and trust, defiance against the destructive forces at work, and trust in the value of interconnectedness and compassion. The Japanese culture has enriched her since she was seven years old and her father came home from Japan with a wonderful turquoise kimono for her. One of her suites of poems was inspired by Hiroshiges series of woodcuts “The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō”, and her latest book, a poetical essay, tells, among other things, about her first journey to Japan in 2012. The journey turned out to be seminal and transformative, and further spurred her interest in the Japanese culture.
During her stay in Youkobo Art Space Henrika will continue to immerse herself in the Japanese culture. Her current poetical project is an exercise in empathy. The working title is “Who are you?” She poses the question to those absent in an attempt to get them to appear on her inner scene and start speaking. The idea was born when she read about the conception in Noh, that the scene is for us living now and the space behind it for the spirits of the departed. When the main actor walks over the wooden bridge and enters the scene one of the spirits emerges from the dark, takes possession of him and starts telling his or her story. In a similar way Henrika now tries to make the spirits of the absent take possession of her inner scene and start talking. During her stay she will see Noh-masks and plays to further inspire her.