Masako Tomiya

2012 - 2014

As I held the camera with both hands, the "unique calmness" which exists in the Tsugaru region was gently pushing my back. Eleven years have passed since I started taking pictures for this series.

When I try to take pictures of the sight in front of me, I face the subject directly at first.

The line of sight between us does not always connect at the beginning, but I keep on gazing at it, and concentrate my whole body on focusing on just one point. I search for the thin thread of light that connects us. Then, we somehow start breathing in the same rhythm.

When I concentrate, I always become unable to recognize things around me. This has never changed since I was a child.

The moment I get focused on a subject, I feel like my body has disappeared. It is as if I myself have turned into an eye that looks through the viewfinder. The weight of the camera is already gone. As this eye, I first gravitate towards the subject, then stand next to it, and at last we blend into one and I become it. Depending on the subject, I sometimes do not go this far.

I do not know how I manage it, but I keep releasing the shutter. I am completely on the other side until I finish the roll of film.

In reality, this time is only an instant; from the outside, I may look like a person lifting my head up in stunned silence. However, this moment, which feels like an eternity, is the most wonderful, blessed time for me. The borderline which separates subject and object no longer exists, and everything unites into one.

In any case, this experience is not limited to me. I fully realize that the world of photography is so deep, so interesting, and indeed a little bit scary.

After all these years of continuing in this way, I am grateful to finally be able to publish my first photography book, with the kind support of many people. Tsugaru is my starting point, and I cannot think of a more solid foundation upon which to create further works.

I may never understand photography in my lifetime, but I will be always attracted to it. I know that I will never stop taking pictures, like so many other photographers who have done so until the end of their days.

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