While on a short business trip to Tokyo in 2010, with a time window of three hours to fill, Diaconu stepped on the grounds of the Imperial Palace to visit the East Gardens. Coming from Romania, one of the last eastern European countries with truly wild and untamed natural landscapes and forests, she found herself intrigued by the carefully trimmed and manicured lawns, bushes and trees, designed ponds and groves, bridges and winding paths. Her passage was brief. She took a few straight photographs as a personal documentary reference and left. Back in Vienna, the photographs were spilled into the computer’s memory and soon forgotten.
Commuting on a regular basis between Vienna and Bassano del Grappa, with another project in mind, she has been taking for years thousands of photographs in the tunnels crossing the Austrian and Italian Alps, collecting what she calls 'brush strokes', reminiscent of east Asian calligraphy and ink drawings. In 2015, while browsing through these images, the Japanese imperial garden resurfaced in mind.
Since then, she is trying to reconstruct it from memory, in abstract form, exploring the way thoughts and photographic images are shaped in mind over time. The black frame enclosing each triptych recalls the three hour window she spent in the East Gardens and may obstruct the view, as her own view and understanding of what she was seeing had been obstructed at the time.