I miss Southern California

Dai Asano

2019 - 2020

Los Angeles, California, United States; Tokyo, Japan

This project started in 2019 since I came back from studying abroad in Irvine, California, and it is finished in December 2020.

In the summer of 2018, I left Japan to study in California. California was completely different from Japan in terms of almost everything. The weather was beautiful, legal weed; In Japan, you get arrested, people gather around at a beach to watch the sunset, diversity, and individualism. I felt like I was released from something. Because of being an outsider for the first time or California itself, I do not know.

After I came back to Japan in 2019, I could not get over the beauty of everything back in California, although when I was in California, I didn't appreciate that enough, and I even used to miss some things in Japan. It was always about the past or the future but not the present.

When you don’t appreciate the present, you will miss this moment in the future; this time would be the past.

“I miss Southern California” is the project in which I am figuring out how to focus on the present and appreciate it through photography.

Those subjects of photographs in this project are my family, friends, or myself.

The warmth and beauty of having those people in your life are some of the most important things, and I did not realize how important that is before. They were always there like air exists on Earth and I took them for granted. My tendency to think like happiness is coming from the future makes me lack gratitude for everything that I have at the moment.

Photographing people I really love is always telling me how I see them unconsciously and taught me how to see them consciously and grateful.

Happiness always comes from wherever you are right now and you can appreciate everything you have instead of complaining about something in your situation.

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