Monday, November 19, 2007

Risaku Suzuki again - "Yuki Sakura"

I mentioned this work briefly in the post the other day but I just saw Risaku Suzuki has a new book due out from Nazraeli looking at two traditional aspects of the Japanese landscape - snow and cherry blossom. The book is called Yuki Sakura.

Pictures are up on the Yoshii Gallery site from the Cherry Blossom side of the project:

"The Sakura Celebration commences in early spring and has inspired artists since the reign of the Emperor Saga in 8th century Japan. The impressive blooming of the trees after winter symbolizes hope and strength, but as the petals fall, one is reminded of the fragility of beauty and life itself. Suzuki's painterly photographs evoke the sensation of passing time within the permanence of the photographic frame. Suzuki captures the trees without a context or narrative, grasping the physical structure as the essence of the symbolism. The viewer is engaged with a place beyond the visible.

By abandoning the ground and concentrating on the relationship between the blossoms and the sky, the works possess a weightless and effervescent air. Tight framing and large format printing eliminate the distraction of neighboring objects, yet maintain a vast landscape for the viewer. Attention is called to the world of motion beyond the frame, intimately connecting the photograph to an individual's wandering gaze. The focus is pulled from various branches to clusters of flowers and clouds, granting the viewer an opportunity to ruminate on a fleeting moment. Memorializing the perspective of a quick glance enables one to glimpse with a duration and depth impossible to realize in person."

I like the way they are done, although they are verging a little too close to "pretty" for me (mind you, I think Lee Friedlander is the only one who has managed to photography cherry blossom without falling into that trap...). And i could only find a couple of really small jpg's of the "snow" aspect, which looked as if they may well provide a good counterbalance to the cherry blossom.

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