Cantos Familia

I lost my father last year. He committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree in a forest near my parents’ home. We did not realize he was suffering that much from depression, but my mother found out about it when he disappeared leaving a note behind. We searched five nights, and four days until we found him.

From this experience, the existence of “forest” has become important to me.

The quality of light is very unique in Finland. From my experience, it is different from the diffused one in Japan, and from the sharp one in the States.

In Buddhist thought, there is an imaginary river called “Sanzu”, which is supposed to divide the current world, and the world of dead.

In the forest of Finland, by looking at the light on the ground, the beam of light becomes a divider like the Sanzu River to me. I wander in the forest to pick up the lights rays falling on the ground - picking them up, and burning them on film.

Light and shadow exist as basic elements of photography no matter if you use digital, or film process. “Something” in between light and shadow, or life and death, started emerging from the powerful visual language and appearing to me.

In the deep forest, I often loose sense of time such as daytime, or nighttime, because the ratio of light and shadow changes depending on where you are. The sunlight seems like moonlight in some parts of the forest. In “this world”, this experience has become an existential question for me.

The “idea of forest”, connects to my own memories. The study of my own memory is the foundation of my image creation. Triggered by the sudden death of my father, the memory of my family flooded my mind.

To me photography is poetry. One single picture is a word. These images are the words in the conversation between myself, my father, and the other family members.

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