“Arbor Essence is an organic vision of our identity, our roots. What we wear throughout our life journey and our family history. This and also a need to be closer to our connection to the Earth. The tree as a symbol of life, drawing its strength, its roots within this battered land .The tree resistant, fits, bark knotted, overgrown with brambles, open bites roots but vital force and porter of the memory location. Overprinting with the back spine of the human being and symbol of the house of the individual. Human stories are different, the readings also. Two things can not they do that? Fusion of a body – a woman, anonymous, back, faceless, identity, and the tree – nature, impetuous, rough, torn … And if instead of trying to turn us into beings physically perfect, we were leaving show what is our essence, our identity? Regardless of aesthetic research but just be who we are, of changing beings connected to the essence of the life and times of our human memory.”
Trine Søndergaard and Nicolai Howalt series ‘Tree Zone’ – ‘a photographic exploration of the barren Nordic landscape during winter and the ways in which human relate to it. Large, colourless images that tell a story of defiance, of surviving in spite of ruthless conditions, of being part of a world that you can not fully control or know.
Thematically and formally this work is a continuation of previous projects HOW TO HUNT, DYING BIRDS and HUNTING GROUND.’
Aokigahara forest is a beautiful forest of a size of 35 km square, located around 100 km from Tokyo, created some 1000 years ago, after an eruption of Mount Fuji. Locally, it is also known under the name of Jukai (“Sea of Trees”) because of its very high density of trees.
From the air it looks like a vast green serene ocean… but inside it keeps a lot of death tragedies.
Called “the perfect place to die,” the Aokigahara forest has the unfortunate distinction of the world’s 2nd most popular place to take one’s life (the 1st is for the Golden Gate Bridge).
Catching the beauty and the eerie nature of the forest, Polish photographer aims to make people stop and ponder over their lives, and hopefully rethink their decisions before committing a suicide.
Tomasz Lazar – Sea of Trees
It is stated that everything began in the 19th century when people started practicing there the so called “ubasute ritual” (an infirm or elderly relative was carried to a mountain, or some other remote, desolate place, and left there to die, either by dehydration, starvation, or exposure, as a form of euthanasia).
The suicide forest phenomenon however started in 1960`s with a romantic fiction story for an unfulfilled love. In the book “Tower of Waves” by Seichō Matsumoto, because the couple couldn’t be together, they decided to commit suicide inside this forest. The impact of this story resulted in around 30 people yearly committing suicide in the Aokigahara Forest, until 1988.
Gradually, not only an unfulfilled love but other dramatic personal stories became reasons to raise the number of suicides to 105 in 2003. In recent years, Japanese authorities discontinued publishing exact suicide numbers in order to avoid making the place even more popular.
The main focus of the series are utility poles, but also a few plants winding around rectangular wire nets or wooden grates.
The photographer presents us two shots – one as a close-up with all the details where clearly could recognize the subject and one from a distance where the subject disappears and the innumerable cables, transformers and branches are converted into an abstract composition against a monochrome background.
“The main object of my work is not to manipulate the world, but the way of looking at it. It is important to me to leave the world the way it is. The only thing I do is to find a way to produce a perspective”
Andreas Gefeller – The Japan Series
‘The Japan Series’ originated on the occasion of the European Eyes on Japan project in which European photographers are invited each year to capture their impressions of this Far Eastern country on film.
“After the Fukushima nuclear plant accident, I found a blog about peacocks that were left in the evacuation zone, within the 20 km limit. I started imagining those peacocks, walking around the empty town with their beautiful wings spread. The image I had in my mind seemed so far away from what was going on in Fukushima. It was as if two different layers of images – the disaster scene and beautiful peacocks – were overlapping with each other without being unified…I started to see different layers in almost everything…”
Miho Kajioka -And, where did the peacocks go
The series is collected in a book but the 1st edition of only 50 copies is sold out.
Read here the feelings and emotions behind each of the photographs
“The cherry blossom is one of flowers that symbolizes the beginning of spring in Japan. When cherry trees are fully blossomed, they look magnificent. These trees are well treated and maintained carefully in order to protect them from disease and bugs. Therefore, their leaves keep their shape and are all balanced in size.
There is an old cherry tree in my garden. It has been left abandoned in adverse conditions for some time, and has been home to countless caterpillars and bugs. In autumn, when I picked up the leaves, I noticed a striking difference with the trees elsewhere. The leaves looked ugly; they were varied in size and bitten by bugs. There was no single leaf that retained its original figure.
I found this uniqueness to be striking. The rugged charm of the individual leaf, so different from the beauty of the flower, is my subject.”
Jungjin Lee‘s series ‘Thing’ – a glimpse into the floating secret world of ordinary objects.
Taking off from the items the features we have attributed them, they start living their own life. How it looks like?
Jungjin Lee succeeded to catch them at the moment when they liberated themselves from the substance and switched to another unknown dimension. Are they dreaming there? Or maybe playing? What’s on their mind? Definitely, it is a different intriguing state of being to which the photographer only introduce us and live it free to a viewer to sense on his/her own that rare experience.
After all as Albert Camus says ‘if we understood the enigmas of life, there would be no reason for art”.
These impressive images are poetical exploring of the heritage, landscapes and sanctuary sites of India. They capture rare moments and atmospheres and by no means are records of the modern daily colourful loud life of this exotic place.
‘The pale morning light fascinates the photographer and is intrinsic to the distinctive mysteriousness of her imagery, aided by her use of a panoramic camera for her photographs. Long exposure times create a slight mistiness in her black and white negatives that she later enlarges and adds sepia tones. Her photographic process results in breathtaking prints of tremendous depth ‘ (artist review – Bernheimer Fine Art Gallery)
“This is the atmosphere that I wanted to capture – these rare timeless yet evanescent moments. If you get up early enough in the morning or hop on a bus and seek out more remote places, you get rewarded with the magic side of this uniquely diverse country.”
“The place of bamboo in the minds of East Asian people goes far beyond our imagination. Because Bamboo grows tall and straight by emptying its body and creating voids within, so it has been praised as a representative of uprightness and emptiness. Especially, Korea, Japan and China all placed bamboo in the first rank of evergreens, even surpassing the pine tree, and gave bamboo the first place for its nobility of soul. Scholars believed that the scent of bamboo expresses a world of pure ideal, and thought they would enter a pure spiritual world when they went into a bamboo forest because of the scent of spirit represented by bamboo.” Jin Dongsun