2015年08月02日

Eternity in a moment

I saw Tashiro Kazutomo's photograph exhibition "椿の街 Vol.3” at photographers' gallery yesterday. The series of "椿の街” was the works he had been engaged in before he undertook the series of "はまゆりの頃に" which he shot the people whom he met in Tohoku region after The Great East Japan Earthquake.
"はまゆりの頃に" was the work which I met Tashiro's photographs for the first time. Until now, I had thought "はまゆりの頃に" was a special work for him because the theme, The Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster, was a very rare event.
However, in this exhibition, I realized that Tashiro has been a photographer who has an enormous viewpoint already before "はまゆりの頃に". The excellent point of the work was the virtue he had originally. Obviously, the success of the work was based on a consistency of his own style.

The work of "椿の街” is portraits of people whom Tashiro met in north of Kyushu, where he comes from, and south of South Korea which locates on the opposite side of north of Kyushu across the straits.
The style of the work is the same as the style of "はまゆりの頃に". Each photograph has one person who stands facing the camera. The composition of every photographs is almost same. Every snap were taken on a street, so you can see the scenery of the place on their background.

In the exhibition, the photographs that were taken in Kyushu side and the photographs that were taken in Korean side were mixed. Therefore, I sometimes could not recognize the side on which a picture was taken. Mostly, I barely could recognize it from scenery of background, especially letters on a signboard or a number plate of a car.
On the other hand, I could easily distinguish the nationality of some people from their looks. The resemblance and difference between Japanese and Korean are very odd.

When I saw the various faces in the pictures, it occurred to me that I was seeing not only the faces of several people but also the enormous lineage which was descended for thousands or ten thousands years in the region.
No need to mention Nihon-shoki or something, as we all know Japan and Korean Peninsula had a close relationship for thousands years, and of course our ancestor originally immigrated from the continent in ancient times. It is no doubt that the resemblance and difference of their faces are the results of the thousands or ten thousands years’ history.
At the same time, I could recognize the resemblance and difference not only in people's face but also in their fashion of clothes and in the streetscape of background. I think the resemblance and difference is result from the contemporaneousness. So, you could find two kind of waves of time in the portraits.

The fact remind me that one person is not only a single person but also a result of blood of thousands of ancestors and the world he/she lives. A person is not a person oneself but also a part that constitutes vast history and world. I had understood it in theory, but Tashiro's work showed it evidently.
On the other hand, as always, the people in the Tashiro's photographs showed strong personality. They looked an unmistakable unique individual.
That is to say, they existed as a unique individual and as a symbol of the history of the region at the same time. Of course actually, we human are existing like that, as a unique individual and as a part of something vast simultaneously. Tashiro's work reminds us of the fact.

It is similar to the way of seeing flowers. We see a flower as a unique flower and as a species at the same time. We can love a species of flower through a particular one flower. It may be no coincidence that both Tashiro's recent works have flower names on their titles.

I consider the way of seeing the whole through the parts is the essence of Tashiro's works. The important point is that it includes the perception of the limits.
Needless to say, we can't know real personality of the people who stands in the Tashiro's photographs. We can't know their real lives neither.
Needless to say, we can't see the whole history of the region from the photographs. We can't see all people who lives in the place and all people who lived there before.
The limits relates to the limits of our lives. We can only live our own lives. We can live one hundred years at the very most. We can't live other life and we can't live in another era. We can't understand others completely even if we live with them throughout life.

I am sure that Tashiro knows the limits deeply more than anyone. He must know that the encounter with a model accounts for only a brief part of his/her whole life time. He knows that a photograph can only record a hundredth of a second of the brief time. They can show completely different looks in the next moment. It also is the essence of photography.
However, I think it is the limits that makes Tashiro's works lively. Though knowing the limits, he tries to meet many people as possible. Though knowing the limits, he tries to make the each encounter into the better one. Though knowing the limits, he tries to make the moment into the best one.
His extraordinary effort against impossibility reminds me some kind of a prayer.

He tries to take various people's portraits as possible. In the exhibition, we can see very various people, from a young girl to an old lady, from a strong young guy with scary face to an old man who seems to be difficult.
Considering accuracy of statistics, it is better to collect more various kind of people for seeing the history of the place from their portraits. However, the value of the diversity of Tashiro's portraits is completely different from the one of statistics in sociology.
In the Tashiro's portraits, we can see his fair attitude against the people from the diversity, and through the attitude, we can see his belief and positiveness of possibility of seeing the vast whole from the parts. That is the point.

Seeing the people who is standing with impressive presence in the Tashiro's photographs, we can also have the belief and positiveness that we can see an eternity in a moment. Tashiro's extraordinary try and his works make us believe that we are able to see the infinity in the limited part.
I think that it is the reason why I always get a feeling of hope when I see Tashiro's photographs.



「田代一倫  椿の街 Vol.3」
photographers' gallery + kula photo gallery(2015年7月23日〜8月26日)
http://pg-web.net/exhibition/kazutomo-tashiro-tsubakinomachi/


posted by 3 at 22:33| Diary