ALPACA Collection 2019

All photos by Reiko, 2018.

Everything in our world is connected. We reflect our experiences and we reflect each other, even if the other is a two-toed Camelid. ALPACA explores the profound similarities we share in the collection of experiences that is life. This exhibit is a call to action- to unite and blur the lines of “other.” In what respect is there an “other” when we are one? We typically see animals through our human-centric lens as a simple-minded inhabitant of our world. But the animal world is complex, featuring unique instinctual pathways that inform survival techniques, multifaceted social connections and kinaesthetic intelligence that we don’t yet understand.

This exhibit encourages us to be humble, open, and to appreciate and help preserve the life that surrounds us. Like alpacas, we procreate, live in connection to family, pilgrim as one. Like us, they need companionship to thrive, and like us, alpacas are social herd animals that set their own boundaries of "personal space" within their family and group structures. We all have a deep-rooted, inescapable connection to family and its power dynamics.

Each photograph frames the vibrancy and simplicity that surround the alpaca’s existence. We have a lot to learn from these brief opportunities; the depth of life one can capture in an observed present moment. This collection is about what we have to gain when we can just BE, surrounded by the beings we call family. For this exploration, Reiko documented her 16,000-foot high trails in Bolivia’s Sajama National Park, located next to a crossing between Chile and Bolivia. She captured these images in October 2018.