This book is like a huge shock! Not because of the subject matter, but because of the honest way how these photos are taken. It is my first time to meet Kawori Inbe via her photographs, but by reading this book I was able to form a a clear image of her in my mind.
“Time to go back.. to the moon”, is like art in a way it’s put together, but the stories presented are real, as what also the text confirms. Inbe achieved to capture the subject’s anger, loneliness and sorrow in a way which is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The book is a fascinating wonderland of experimental posed photography, but bruises and slit wrists are real. I think the photos could be considered kind of documentary and I don’t really feel that the women are posed.
There are four photographs that struck my heart especially. One would be the first photo of the book, where the young woman with stitched arm is holding what appears to be two razor blades. She has a headlight on her head and she is standing outside in dark alley. She is wearing white gown, and her expression is haunting.
Another photo would be bruised woman against white backdrop. Her eyes are devoid of life, and speak her whole story.
Then there is photo of two women holding each other in what appears to be a street of Tokyo, one wearing blue dress and one wearing red. Woman in red seems lonely or afraid, and the woman in blue is comforting her. Perhaps the women are warming each other in the cold wind of the cruel city society.
For last, I’d like to mention the woman in school girl uniform holding her newborn baby. There is something so direct and honest about this photo. It must be her eyes..
In Kawori’s own words, “Of all the emotions people have, I feel that ‘anger’ manifests the will to live most”. Her photos indeed express this, but do so in such a beautiful way. Quoting her from the book, “The photos with slit wrists and the like are graphic, but I want to capture the face more than the injury.”
It would be easy to make sensational book with subject matter like this, and do it for the wrong reasons. But she chose to focus in the whole personalities and lives of her subjects, and therefore reveal much more than what’s on the skin, or obviously visible.
Women in the photos are hauntingly beautiful. Every one of them.
Indeed, the very intention of the photographer is totally transparent in this book, even though the photos leave so much for the audience to imagine. Did the woman choose to wear her underwear on her head or was it an idea of the photographer? I don’t know and I don’t care, because her eyes tell the truth.
Only exceptionally talented photographer can achieve something like this. I am really anticipating next work of Kawori Inbe. She is clearly one of the rising stars in Japanese photography scene.
Kawori Inbe is a Tokyo born photographer, and she has received the Annual Miki Jun Award, and held numerous exhibitions in Los Angeles, Barcelona, Hong Kong and Milan. Check out her official site: http://www.inbekawori.com