Rohan Reilly – I was invited to Japan in the winter of 2013 /14 by a wonderful photographer and friend, Stephen Cairns. Stephen has been living and teaching in Japan for some years.
We had been contacts for sometime and when he invited me I was very excited. We spent a lot of time researching locations on google maps and creating a schedule for our trip. We spent 10 days shooting from sunrise to sunset and travelling around the south part of the island. We were blessed with snowfall on our first day so I did’t have time to think about jetlag. Most other days we had soft light and clouds.
Myself and Stephen talked a lot about photography, I enjoyed this a lot, I learnt a lot about how others see my work which was enlightening. He also lent me books about Japanese culture and aesthetics which I read in the evenings, this opened my eyes to the to ideas of wabi-sabi, the background to Zen and the principles of kanso, fukinsei and shibui .
I had wanted to shoot the uniquely Japanese fishing and farming structures. I also wanted to do so in a more minimalist and graphic way than had been shot before. I brought waders with me and often spent time in the sea and lakes getting close to the structures to reveal their symmetry, asymmetry, dynamics and details When we were shooting the seaweed nets the farmers were collecting the seaweed and looking at me very strangely as I waded out in to the sea to shoot their nets and sticks. A policeman came along and we talked about what I was doing, he was very friendly as most people are in Japan and was fascinated when I showed him the images. I was touched by how helpful everybody was and even more so when I spent the last few days alone in Osaka.
I still have many images I want to process from our trip and would love to go back again and travel North, around Mount Fuji and up to Hokkaido and hope this may happen in the next two/three years. I loved the landscape, the food and the people and my love for Japan has only started. Hopefully Stephen will be with me once again. [Official Website]
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