12th December 2015
This was my third time to visit the island of Ookunoshima, and my third time to try and create an image which does justice to the feeling I have when I walk around the island.
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3rd May 2016
I am sitting at Haneda airport right now about to board a plane to Sydney, thinking about what has brought me to this point.
About 18 months ago my dear friend Florian Seidel contacted me letting me know about a location that might be of some photographic interest to me.
Florian and I often travel together to haikyo, or abandoned places, which he meticulously documents over on his website Abandoned Kansai. He puts a huge amount of time and research into his work and has the largest and most informative blog on the topic in all of Japan.
The property was built back in the 1920s, and while
internet speculation labels it a holiday house, speaking to the local neighbours and municipal office it seems there were permanent inhabitants until at least the late 70s. Many of the neighbouring properties belong to extended relatives, but none that I spoke to know (or are willing to divulge) anything about the direct descendant, a male, who moved out of the prefecture.
If somehow this descendant were to stumble across this post, I urge you to please contact me so that I can provide you with high resolution scans of the glass plates to preserve these precious memories.
In the meantime, an exhibition featuring some of these images alongside my own photography of the site will be running from May 7th-29th 2016.
Please come and visit the show if you are able, which consists of archival giclee prints hand printed by me in my studio in Tokyo.
You can also see a preview of the images here in the gallery.
Thank you very much to Florian for his trust and generosity, to Nathalie Prat for helping with the extra large prints in the show, Yuna for hours of translation work, Harley and Zann for getting the new website up and running in time, Irwin for his excellent work on the video, Patrick O’Carrigan for his kind words, Madeleine for her guiding curation, and all my friends and family for the immeasurable amount of practical support without which this show could not have happened. Thanks especially to my parents, Peter and Lizette, who have been running around tirelessly for months to ensure that prints and promotions are exactly when and where they need to be.
I hope to see many of you there on Sunday.