Peach Goddess

I visited Fukushima yesterday and saw Miwa Yanagi’s exhibition Myth Machines.

I was very moved about the reference to the Japanese mythology of peach and goddess.

I didn’t know about the artist Yanagi before, but I got the sense that she has just the kind of passion that moves my heartstrings.

I liked her color photos but her black and white photos as well; a bit similar to works of Eikoh Hosoe.

Also the photos that used CG elements were surprisingly natural and realistic. Well, without photos being good it wouldn’t work.

I really liked this.

Then, yesterday I talked about cancer with my friend.

This life is so fragile. We must not forget it.

Waiting for Rain

I have been busy living my life as a 3D designer in Tokyo company. I have had many difficulties in trying to adapt into the new lifestyle of working in a Japanese company. But I like meeting new people; humans fascinate me. I wish this lifestyle as a company designer would also invigorate me as a photographer.

I feel so many months have passed since I started commuting to Tokyo, and rainy season is here soon. I look forward see the hydrangea in full bloom.

Playing outside with my son and his friends has been a great joy for me. In my darkest hours of tears and self-doubt, my son was next to me. I am very grateful for him.

Photography is the way to watch the world. It reminds me not to waste a moment. As Susan Sontag said, photographs are a kind of melancholy objects. When moment is captured it is already gone and untouchable.

We humans are weak and sensitive to light and we perish too. So life itself has a sense of melancholy in it.

I wish to celebrate this melancholy with my photographs.

Exhibition

My exhibition 金木犀 “Fragrant Tree” was finished today. I am thankful for everyone who came to see my photos.

I feel happiness whenever I can feel human connection with someone. That is why I take a photo.

Pre-Raphaelites

I found my new treasure last week. A book about Pre-Raphaelites, Masterpieces of Art by Gordon Kerr.

The paintings depict religious figures as normal people, then aspects of the society of the era and love and female beauty.

The strong emotional concepts of the paintings are so natural but never overstated. There was a painting of a sailor boy who learned about the passing of his mother after his return from the sea. The boy’s face is partially buried on the green grass, his cheeks red. His emotion is not shown directly, but by the face of a female figure next to him. It’s natural and beautiful.

The book makes me feel the strong empathy by the artists to the ordinary human suffering. The paintings never ridicule but wrap their subjects in a gentle fabric of artistic expression. Jesus stretching his arms in leisurely, his shadow accidentally being cast on a wood beam resembling his crucifixion, his mother shocked by the realization. His face is carefree and gay, maybe even stupidly so, yet this must be how the person lived in the real world.

The pictures surprise and I love to be surprised by art. “Art is love”, the book states. Maybe art is kind of celebration of human, the love expressed by the passion and sometimes chosen suffering of the artist, to express a higher truth about our existence.

For me art offers a kind of safe room to think about my life and past.

I wish we could live our lives more spiritually, celebrating our desire and existence.

To Catch a Moment

I have been thinking to start to use digital camera for my photography, after a long break.

Developing and especially scanning film is such a chore. I would take more photos if I have digital camera. Plus, now that I will be full time worker to a Japanese company, I doubt I will have enough time to develop film. Rather than sitting in front of computer scanning film, I’d rather go outside and shoot more.

One of the reasons why I dislike digital is that Flickr groups and descriptions of even really good photographers seem to always mention or focus to the camera, or lens or technique.

“It is important to catch good moments with a camera”, my friend said. Indeed.

Now that I look at the photos I have taken over the years, I really don’t care whether I’ve taken them with digital or film camera. Both are good, and both have their sides.

Enjoy your life and enjoy photographing your life.

Someone said “When we meet a good person, we can get something invisible”.

It’s the kind of treasure I value.

Spring is coming

This spring I will finally hold my exhibition ”金木犀”. Please wait for a moment for announcement of the schedule. The place will be the same; lovely Cafe Dou Dou next to Hakuraku station in Tokyu-line.

My black and white photo prints have been sleeping in the box too long now and it’s time for them to be released to the world.

Then, from next week I will start my work in Tokyo game company as 3D modeler. I look forward this opportunity and meeting new people. Tokyo has a kind of artistic power, something unique to the city.

I can already feel signs of early spring. There seems to be a promise of a change in season. I hope the change of environment will invigorate my art life as well.

Last year brought a lot of tears of losing a relative, and then a family member brushed shoulders with death. If I felt something, it was uncertainty. My house was wrapped in plastic wrap and scaffolding due to a renovation, there was almost no ray of sunlight entering. Then, this is pretty much how I felt most of the time.

I hope this year will be a brighter one. Let’s make choice of optimism.

Nature

When I think about my my past month, I think keyword for all this is “natural.” In Japanese the word is “shizen” 自然。It means not only natural expression but also nature. 自然な表現 “shizen na hyogen” would mean natural expression.

Even sweet water of a protected lake will flow eventually into open sea. Would you ask the water “why do you must go so far away, out of our reach”? No, we don’t ask the water. But we ask that from the wretched bodies of our loved ones when the hospital curtain is drawn. It has to be natural cycle, somehow.

Uncertain

Recently they paint my apartment exterior. My home is wrapped in gray cloud. I hear voices I don’t recognize during daytime, and dark shapes move outside my window. It was just like yesterday when everything was normal.

Message to the sun; sky is required.