Fisheye Magazine #52

Fisheye Magazine #52
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Fisheye Magazine #52


Signs — 表徴

Working on a special Japan issue is not an instinctive process. Especially when it comes to photography. You have to accept that the relationship to the world, to consciousness, to objects, to nature or to human relations is different from anything you know. It is a matter of forgetting what we assume. In particular, the alleged greatness of Japanese photography thanks to the strength of their camera industry, the fame of their great masters such as Araki, Hosoe, Moriyama, Sugimoto or Ueda
or the importance of their publishing. Photography is by no means a consecrated art in the Land of the Rising Sun. Talk about photography in Japan is to understand that no author is a prophet in his own country and that recognition has always come from abroad. One can thus discover artists who have been following a major photographic quest for years without the wind of success ever having touched their faces. Nothing is obvious when one starts the crazy adventure of becoming a photographic artist in Japan. In addition to my unconditional love for this country, its culture, its martial arts or its food, I had the chance to become friend with a Japanese photographer. He is Akihito Yoshida. We met by chance as neighbours during a five-hour bus ride in the depths of China. His story, his approach, his sensitivity moved me beyond reason. He was talking about his grandmother’s long-term relationship with the cousin she had raised. I had never felt such an instinct for capturing the human thing, especially in the face of a story with such a tragic ending: his cousin committed suicide. We met many times in Kyoto, Tokyo and Paris. Each time, his kindness, his humility and his unshakeable conviction gripped me to the core. I remember an evening of beer drinking on the banks of the Kamo River with some of his friends in Kyoto. With the help of alcohol, one of his friends told me about the respect he had for Akihito. Both of them had trained as teachers. Akihito had left this career to devote himself to photography. A madness that earned him hero status. Yet Akihito has been published and exhibited in many countries, is very successful and has many parallel projects. But in Japan, his approach seems to be pure madness. It is in this context that we wanted to celebrate these new Japanese authors for the 10th anniversary of the Kyotographie festival – a separate issue of which highlights 10 Japanese women photographers exhibited for the occasion. We have delved deeply into the new writing and history of the medium in the Archipelago. Far from a stale or redundant vision of a changing Japan, we go deep into the soul of its inhabitants. A singular journey that does not leave one unscathed. This quest reminded us of the Japanese proverb: “Life is a candle flame in the wind. Every element of our existence is ephemeral, but perhaps with the work of the photographers we can touch eternity, a virtue that could be associated with this unparalleled act.

SKU: FIS-MAG-052 Category:

Available on newsstands on 8 March 2022
Bimonthly, 140 pages
Cover photo: © Kenta Nakamura

Additional information

Weight 0.580 kg
Dimensions 30 × 23 × 1 cm

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