Kawashima Kotori: Miraichan

I recently bought Kawashima Kotori’s photo book Miraichan. I first time saw it with my wife when we were visiting Triennale in Yokohama last summer. “Oh this is so beautiful!”, I cried to my wife. The image of the girl in red was permanently left in my heart.

Photos of Kawashima are genuine and natural. Miraichan is like a symbol of life herself. She laughs, cries and grows up in middle of wonderfully picturesque Showa era landscape. The photos are stinking of life. Here and there are photos of the surrounding nature that make a good balance for the emotional impact delivered by Miraichan.

It would be easy to call Kawashima’s photos cute, but doing so wouldn’t do justice to his work. It would be like like calling Picasso “artistic”. “Cute” just isn’t enough.

What makes these photos so emotionally moving might be because of Kawashima’s intension of capturing something greater than cute girl in red.

Kawashima wants to capture humanity that he sees in surrounding world, and he does it in very approachable way. Although my wife shows zero interest for Nobuyoshi Araki’s photos, she totally loves Miraichan. It is not small achievement to take genuinely artistic photo and make ordinary people interested of it.

Miraichan is a also a very coherent piece of work; there’s not a single unnecessary photo in the book. The pages of the book are very vibrant and print quality is excellent. The bind is also very unique. 2000円 is a bargain for this quality of print.

I want to keep this book with me always.

Kotori Kawashima 川島小鳥 (写真家) (1980) is a Tokyo born photographer, graduated from Waseda university. The photos in Miraichan are shot in Sado Island, Niigata prefecture. See Kawashima Kotori’s Official Site at: kawashimakotori.com

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