GENTLE ISLAND 優しい島 - A JAPAN JOURNAL
The photographs collected in this journal chronicle a brief, but unusual time in several Japanese cities and towns. Coming close to a locked down country, they seek to peek behind the curtain of a life more secluded and hidden than usual. Taking hints of otherwise unaffected buildings, these photographs take a look at their facades as mirrors of a daily life put on hold, a daily life which left its traces and carved its marks as a patina of scratched plaster, fading neon lights and weathered stains. Both the polished, reserved high-rises of downtown Tokyo and the idiosyncratic homes of the suburbs, which seem almost as having suffered shipwreck in a metropolis out of their time, are being brought into question.
Reminiscent of the logic of fukeiron, the Japanese principle of landscape theory, which understands such scenes as psychogeographic artefacts of human volition, one can read such seemingly meaningless facades as canvases on which complex histories were imprinted. They can be called to the witness stand, cross-questioned, and will narrate a story of absence. Not only that of the usual crowds, but more importantly, of the manifold relational ties, circumstances and events that have unfolded, taken place, and ceased before the photographer set up his camera and which continue some time after he left the scene.
Berlin/ Tokyo, Kanazawa, Osaka, Kyoto, 2020/ 2021
*Book, self published in 2021
Edition of 70. With 64 pictures
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