I went back to Japan after seven years of absence, from north to south I traveled the country through the lens: images distorted, images real, only the imprints remain today.
I remembered faces I had forgotten, saw places I had missed.
The stone still stands erect and lines of people's hands are still deeper yet.
The faceless, the faithless...I melted into the swelling crowd.
Alone in the crowd.
The visible frontier separated some while the visible thread bonded others.
Years ago and years ahead perhaps, this Japan travels inside me like a long bamboo path...
ウィークエンド・ウィズ・ミスターフランク | A WEEKEND WITH MR. FRANK
I like dogs more than cats.
I've always thought that dogs are smarter and sweeter than cats.
However I've always taken many more pictures of cats than dogs.
And I still don’t know why. It seems to me that cats never like to depend on anything.
When they are tired, they sleep. When they want to eat, they cry.
And when they want to have sex, they just do it...In Japan, we say, “Before cats die, they disappear from their owner.”
Cats are very hidden, mysterious, and proud.
I often feel they know how to make me take pictures of them, and they reveal what’s inside.
猫 | NECO
Intoxicated by the silence and the solitude of the night, in a state of mind akin to meditative ecstasy, these images aim to capture the dreamlike romance of a marathon stroll through the streets of the city:
a man collecting cans in Herald Square, a woman walking her dog on Lexington Avenue, two men conversing at Grand Central Terminal...
These empty spaces, dark alleys and deserted streets all seem like a strange dream today as the spirit of my first years in New York have drifted away like any other misty night, thick with fog, and swirling in mystery.
As I realize those nights of my youth will never return to this particular place, I too, have moved on in search of new streets to walk.
静息の刻 | ZERO HOUR
陽射し、広島 | HIROSHIMA '06
GREETING FROM SHANGHAI...
In October 2007, I was invited to Shanghai for a gallery opening of my work.
It was my first visit to China and I had only a vague idea of what it would be like.
Every city I had visited, whether in Europe, the U.S., or Japan, I had always felt most comfortable and at home in their respective Chinatowns.
It could be because the Chinese leave me alone and at peace.
The Chinese treat everyone equally, whether stranger or native; all encounters are like a business transaction.
While the Chinese have a long and complex history, their collective spirit is very down to earth. I liken their spirit to a "good noodle soup" - a deceptively simple meal that can take hours to prepare but minutes to consume.
I stayed in Shanghai for five days. From day to night the energy kept me awake. I walked everywhere. In dark, winding alleys I heard lone men prepare meals in a wok. I peeked in and watched as they ate, and saw how they lived. The streets were so dim that I often could not tell who was approaching me. Strangers would bump into me and then regard me with no emotion.
The sounds, smells, and mysterious alleys reminded me of clichés from a vintage Chinese film. Experiencing this world required all of my senses and felt, in many ways, more authentic and enriching than much of my time spent in modern cities and cultures.
Shanghai is a city that lives in the moment. Construction appears to be going on everywhere, every day.
Landscapes seem to change by the second.
The new is mixed with the old in Shanghai: its architecture, its fashion, its attitude...One day, I saw a father and son on a construction site.
The father pointed to something far beyond the crumbling buildings, as if to show the son where they used to live.
The father appeared confused…was he concerned that his roots were being erased, or that his world had changed too fast to even reflect upon?
Shanghai made me question my own world: why is it that I am always searching for something nostalgic to hold on to?
A landscape experienced for the first time can trigger a sense of nostalgia.
Specific sensory images from childhood are summoned; a father tends to his garden, a mother cooks and cleans, life lessons are passed down by elders, and others lead by example.
A Primal Landscape, neither real nor tangible, is intuitive and deep within one’s heart. It comes to the fore when prompted by a meaningful visual or emotional experience.
Japan’s history is carried down through the generations as a continuum. Have we heeded the wisdom of our ancestors?
A resourceful people with endless spirit can preserve their culture and community for a better tomorrow.
This is the essence of resilience.
路人 | ROJIN
An artist's maiden work is all encompassing.
Youthful and free, it is akin to a condensed version of one's self.
Art, when produced by a mind not yet corrupted by age and experience, is infinitely bright, infinitely dark.
It is this concept that enriched and cultivated this work, while becoming my muse and the great love of my life – a love that's never fickle.
Viewing life in the present – friends and family, city and country, laughter and pain...all falls into a universe of shadow and light.
And once the fleeting moment is captured on film, it is reborn with the essence of permanence.
So my vision expressed in the form of an image is really my life as I have lived it, fraction by fraction, in relation to time infinite.
Together, the images narrate the story of an artist still young at heart and in spirit.