The origins of this work occurred when I met Eishin, an actor I met when he appeared in the Youtube drama “Old Man’s Camp Meal – Kyoto edition”, and we met again in Tokyo at an opportune moment. When we met, we both knew that we wanted to do something together, but we felt that simply shooting a film was not enough, as it would be something consumed merely on social networking sites. We decided to have a theme and shoot with the goal of creating an exhibition or something in that vein.
After many hours of brainstorming, discussing various themes, and postulating potential episodes, we came to the conclusion that Eishin himself possessed “sense of disaster” which might be one of the essential qualities of his work. Giving form to something invisible through photography generates tremendous curiosity as an expression, and I thought it would be worthwhile if I could sublimate it as art.
What is “disastrousness”? I looked it up and found that it meant “a feeling that something bad is about to happen: an ominous feeling or an eerie appearance. It is an expression meaning “an abominable state of being. What I realized here is that the word “ominous” does not mean evil, nor does it mean a situation that is terrible, miserable, or at any rate, full of suffering and malice. It only means an atmosphere that seems to be pregnant with such things.
I imagined the wars and tragedies in this world, and I thought that the truth of misery might be there, but I came to realize that it is not so. Disaster also exists in the disastrous state of individual human beings. By capturing the mischievousness that Eishin portrays in his photographs, we may be able to think about the atmosphere and impression that people create.
After several shoots, I felt that it would be too straightforward to express Eishin’s disasters alone, so I searched for a character with a sense of disaster that could be crossed with something else; something more reminiscent of something else, and that would be perfect for him to do as an actor. In fact, Eishin and I had a history of connecting through the filming of “Old Man’s Camp Meal”, but there was another connection there. He liked my first photo book, “Undine”, and picked it up. Just as I was recalling this episode, I remembered that a character named Kühleborn (*), who appeared in the original Undine, existed with an intense sense of disaster. Since I had been taking pictures of rivers around the world, when I superimposed the image of Eishin and water, the thickness and atmosphere of the disasters became more vivid and tangible in a brilliant way.
In this ZINE and photo exhibition, Eishin and I will express only one thing: “a work in which I thought about giving form to an invisible sense of disaster.”
(*) Kühleborn is one of the characters in “Undine” published in 1811 by the German writer Friedrich Fouquet. Although he is Undine’s uncle, he is naturally a water spirit like Undine. In contrast to Undine, in the story, he is not a casual visitor, but a presence that exudes a sense of disaster. Even when we look into the paintings and other drawings from the original story, they are represented as black shadows and have an atmosphere that symbolizes the sense of disaster.
Photography & Art Direction
In this exhibition, we will sell the works photographed and directed by Junpei Tainaka of the actor Eishin, as well as a zine (special private photo book). (The exhibited works will be available for pickup after the exhibition ends.)