My Path of Creating 1st Artist book "Renjishi" — #6 Hollands Licht
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My Path of Creating 1st Artist book “Renjishi” — #1 A Picture with Wormholes
My Path of Creating 1st Artist book “Renjishi” — #2 What is the “Right” Way of Taking Pictures?
My Path of Creating 1st Artist book “Renjishi” — #3 To the Radio Sounds
My Path of Creating 1st Artist book “Renjishi” — #4 Like a Boiled Crab
My Path of Creating 1st Artist book "Renjishi" — #5 What is your language?
When I landed at the airport, there was light rain in Amsterdam.
Because I don't know how to pronounce Dutch, I barely learn the destination's name to read the Latin Alphabet somehow and listen to the announcement carefully. Since some people can speak English, it seems I won’t have a hard time communicating there.
While on the airplane to the Netherlands, I remembered one film.
“Hollands Licht” (2003)
Represented by Rembrandt’s expression of painting, this Dutch film looks into a new experience by actually observing and examining how the beautiful light we see in paintings was created in the Netherlands.
Waterfront, bridge, greenery, and soft light are everywhere.
Riding a bicycle would be fun on a sunny day.
However, I have stayed at the hotel lobby all day long since I arrived on the previous day.
“What is the person doing?”
“You know, he has been making something for over five hours.”
“Are you serious?”
The staffs’ conversation was overheard from the front desk. I was performing bookbinding for dummies showing to no one in particular at the lobby. The latest version of my artist book, which continued developing after applying to Unseen Amsterdam, has finished barely in time. Now I am ready for the presentation to those I will meet soon.
The next day, I was excited that I couldn’t sit still since morning.
I couldn’t stop thinking about my attire. In a speech at the Grammy Awards ceremony, the typical phrase, “thank you for my family support,” was on loop in my head.
Yeah, I got overly excited.
This is a story about my path of creating my first artist book "Renjishi" with an eight-part series.
There was a dome-shaped building that galleries of the world were arrayed to exhibit and sell works. There was an open building that bookstores and publishers set up booths and sell books.
Outdoor exhibitions were lined up at the ponds and walking trails in the park as the festival's venue.
Japanese publishers were at the bookstore booth. A large scale touring exhibition “LUMIX MEETS BEYOND 2020 by Japanese Photographers #6” held at the separate building. So, I could see my friends and acquaintances work, and I was glad to know they are active on the world stage here, far from Japan.
“I am looking for ‘new’ documentary works from the Asian region,” a woman from a European publisher went up and talked to me.
“Did you see my work? It exhibits over there right now.”
“Oh, really? I have seen all of the nominated works. Shall we go to the ceremony together?”
A winner of the Unseen Dummy Award is announced on the first day of the fair.
At the dimly lit hall. One hundred people or more look up to the spotlight on the stage and the display screen behind it.
Now it’s time to announce the winner of the Unseen Dummy Award 2018!
The name displayed on the screen was not mine.
Oh, well. The most beautiful light did not reach me.
All of a sudden, I’m embarrassed by myself. Ahhhh.
Since I am a nominee who came all the way from Japan, I felt sorry for the woman from a publisher who saw the ceremony next to me if I had gotten her hopes up.
This photography book was good, for sure.
By showing the pictures in parts on purpose, the works portrayed drama and sequence of event, as if she was aware of this at the time of photographing. Although the book design and its construction are simple, it brings pleasure to readers turning the pages with a good rhythm.
While I dropped my shoulders, my stay in Amsterdam went on.
Now is the time to take advantage of being here. I definitely want to take a chance and gain something during my stay.
I went to the venue every morning, looking around the photography books sales section, glancing around dummy book exhibits on the wall in the same venue, and watching people who picked up my book.
Where in the book interests people? What are they checking? What is the difference between seeing another book?
One day, I suddenly noticed an unexpected thing.
I thought it was a coincidence, but it’s not. That person did the same thing, too.
Aside from those who took time and tried to decipher my book carefully, those who skim-read it surprisingly opened the book from the backside and read the opposite order.
(Translated by Harumi Masugo)