Japan – Urashima Taro

I am spending a great deal of time of my life in Japan, starting with my first long-term stay 1996 – 98, since then I returned regularly, living mainly in Kyoto, more recently also taking trips West (Hiroshima) and East (Tokyo), and hopefully soon also North (Hokkaido), possibly one day also South (Kyushu and Okinawa).
Although also other places, for example living in the United Kingdom, had a profound effect on me, but Japan is clearly my biggest influence and so far no other place or experience have had a similar effect.

I am not sure what is the exact reason for this, besides that I spent a particular stage in my life there that was a form of coming-of-age, which is important to every person.
I would probably best explain it that I experience Japan as a country and culture that seems in a strange way incredibly familiar to me and at the same time it is after all a foreign place, with a different culture, language and alphabet, that I have to learn from scratch to understand.

It is a peculiar and hard to describe experience, that seems for me to be uniquely connected to my relationship to Japan. It seems to me as if I was looking at myself but through some form of lens, like in a surreal dream. The effect is fascinating and I can never stop looking.
The only problem is that I am currently not living permanently in Japan, but travel back and forth, which has the effect that life at whichever place I am currently not is proceeding without me and it is hard to reconnect where I left off. The traditional folk tale Urashima Taro is dealing with this phenomena, which I am regularly working on in several media.

The images in this category don’t show actual “art work” produced as such, instead these are casual snap shots I took only for my various private reasons. They are by no means all pictures I ever took, only I tiny part of it, besides: the photographer taking the picture in the moment of taking it is NOT participating himself; consequently in the most important periods and moments I did not take a photograph, because I was actively involved in living life versus observing and documenting it.
Whilst also serving as reference for my work (how and why we take photographs), these images illustrate a small part of my connection and its history to Japan, as well as also my development as a photographer, which gives them the function of a (sentimental) visual diary.