Yamamoto Masao’s series ‘Shizuka (Cleanse)’ – “Living in the forest, I feel the presence of many “treasures” breathing quietly in nature. I call this presence “Shizuka.”
Yamamoto Masao – Shizuka (Cleanse)
“Shizuka” means cleansed, pure, clear, and untainted.
I walk around the forest and harvest my “Shizuka” treasures from soil. I try to catch the faint light radiated by these treasures with both my eyes and my camera… I have an impression that something very vague and large might exist beyond the small things I can feel. This is why I started collecting “Shizuka” treasures.
“Shizuka” transmits itself through the delicate movement of air, the smell of the earth, the faint noises of the environment, and rays of light. “Shizuka” sends messages to all five of my senses.
Capturing light is the essence of photography. I am convinced more than ever that photography was created when humans wished to capture light.
I hope you will enjoy “Shizuka”, the treasures of the forest, through my photographs.”
Thomas Hauser’s series ‘Amazona, India’ – still lifes of flowers as a symbol of a timeless Memento Mori, arranged in containers of the industrial age like beer, coke bottles and plastic cups, giving a new meaning of the concept of transience as part of the contemporary reality. All elements constituting the image are engaged in a specific kind of dialogue about the moment of mortality: while the topic of natural circle of flowering and decay is on the subject, on the other hand, the material goods that define it would be quite possible that will outlast for centuries.
Blue Mitchell’s series ‘Chasing the Afterglow’ – exploring “the moon, the setting sun, and the dreamy lore that plays out under their spiritual light. The enchanted twilight hour, the magic under a blanket of stars, the visceral pull of the lunar phases – they ground us to nature but also allow us to transcend the everyday.
This work aims to inspire the viewer to reconnect with the power of nature, with a pinch of the mystic. The use of silver leaf and mixed media alters the nature of the two-dimensional photograph and creates a more all-encompassing experience. This technique accentuates the luminance of the subjects and gives the work a tactile, sumptuous quality.
Images are actualized by using the acrylic lift transfer process on a silver leafed panel. They are then coated with resin and displayed in custom painted frames.”
Daniel Mariotti’s series ‘Hello, Sunshine’ – 31 photographs taken over 31 days of journaling capture the fluctuation of how I experience depression. Even on my best days, where the world appears most vivid and colorful, depression is ever present … . It’s important to note that depression is not sadness. Sadness is a fleeting emotion tied to circumstance. Depression makes me view things indirectly; much like the photographs from this series, my focal point is a white cloud and the details are in the peripherals making it harder to see the landscape. Other days it almost blends in seamlessly… The way we perceive our world is affected by masses, both physical and emotional, that operate like gravity, pulling our attention to it, forever altering the way we interact with the world around us. Hello, Sunshine draws from Einstein’s theory of relativity, exploring the gravity of depression.”
Daniel Mariotti – Hello, Sunshine
The series is accompanied by poems and is published in a photo book.
Tommy Nease’s series ‘Nocturne’ – “landscapes, abstract forms, and anthropomorphic subjects in black and whites as a photographic illustration of psychological entropy and the eventual return to a primordial state. With the visible spectrum as my medium, I am wishing to create a world within the no man’s land between the spiritual extremities of light and dark. My inspiration stems from my interest in the collective unconscious, archetypal symbolism, and the natural world. The images that I create contain representations and forms that call on experiences hidden within our psyche… I hope for the experience to be that of a faint nostalgic memory, perhaps one from a past life.”
We must unhumanize our views a little, and become confident As the rock and ocean that we were made from. —Robinson Jeffers
Ron Jude – 12 Hz
Ron Jude’s series ‘12 Hz’ – large-scale black and white images of primordial landscapes focusing on the raw materials of the planet as a visual chronicle of the constant changes in our physical world where the natural phenomena operate independently of anthropocentric experience.
“The title of this work references the limits of human perception—12 Hz is the lowest sound threshold of human hearing. It suggests imperceptible forces, from plate tectonics to the ocean tides, from cycles of growth and decay in the forest, to the incomprehensibility of geological spans of time. The photographs in 12 Hz allude to the ungraspable scale and veiled mechanics of these phenomena, while acknowledging a desire to gain a broader perspective, beyond the human enterprise, in a time of ecological and political crisis.”
You could listen to a sample clip of the 12 Hz audio component by Joshua Bonnetta (best with headphones).
“Nowadays, when the cherries bloom, people think it’s time for a party. They go under the trees and eat and drink and mouth the old sayings about spring and pretty blossoms, but it’s all one big lie. I mean, it wasn’t until Edo, maybe a couple of hundred years ago, that people started crowding under cherry blossoms to drink and puke and fight. In the old days – the really old days – nobody gave a damn about the view. They were scared to go under the blossoms. People today think they can have a wild time under the trees, but take the people out of the picture and it’s just plain scary… Without people, a forest of cherries in full bloom is not pretty, just something to be afraid of.”
Daido Moriyama – Ango
Through a strange romance between a beautiful but monstrous woman and a bandit, who scared of nothing except the feeling when going under cherry blossoms in bloom, at the end when he dispelled his fears and felt a relief, he found that the secret of the cherry forest might be the frightening loneliness and infinite emptiness.
“Even now, no one knows the secret of the cherry forest in full bloom. Perhaps it was loneliness. For the man no longer had to fear loneliness. He was loneliness itself. Now, for the first time, he looked all around. Above him where the blossoms. Beneath them was the silent, infinite emptiness, the stillness of the rain of blossoms. That was all. Beyond that, there was no secret.”
Miho Kajioka’s series ‘As It Is’ – capturing the passage of time inspired by Japanese aesthetics of the empty space and the concept of fleeting, fragile beauty of the changing seasons.
“These fragments of my life, from various periods and against changing backdrops, are not so different from each other, and the differences that remain aren’t important. Happiness, sadness, beauty and tragedy only exist in our minds. Things are just as they are.”
Michael Wolf’s series ‘Paris Tree Shadows’ – the artist’s passion for collecting repeated patterns in contemporary megapolis inspired him to point his lens to the simple beauty of daily life in urban cities, created by shadows of tree brunches and trunks over Parisian buildings. Composed in the rhythm of noir style there is also a sense of a drama like in a classic mystery combined with the tenderness of poetry and a quiet admiration of the power of surviving nature.
Masahiro Kodaira’s series ‘Other things‘ – “Shooting is an intuition. I am trying to take what I do not understand yet. I always think about the biggest mystery. What is the most obvious thing?”
Inspired by Rudolf Otto’s 1917 book ‘Das Heilige’ (‘The Idea of the Holy’), the series is the artist’s visual response to the writer’s notion of the ‘numinous’ – “feeling outside of the self.”
“When you shoot without talking to anyone or when you are in a room looking over a window, you may suddenly experience unexpected fear. What is this world? That strong sense against the outside world that eyes are exposed defenseless without knowing why he or she is present. The same is with ecstasy.”