My Path of Creating 1st Artist book "Renjishi" — #8 Revival

My Path of Creating 1st Artist book "Renjishi" — #8 Revival

楠本涼|Ryo Kusumoto
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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?
My Path of Creating 1st Artist book "Renjishi" — #6 Hollands Licht
My Path of Creating 1st Artist book "Renjishi" — #7 Traffic Control

"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve." The narration from the movie "Stand by Me" impressed me when I was twelve, so I watched it again and again. This movie and things that happened in my childhood also inspired me to develop a retrospective view of things and thinking ways. That became part of who I am now for sure and rooted in the heart of all my works.

The time passed. I have never forgotten the time when I saw my old friends attend my wedding. I remember the moment to see my friends' look, like slow motion. Every time I bring back the memory, I feel like I can get a little closer to the feelings of Gordie's, the main character in the movie.


This is a story about my path of creating my first artist book "Renjishi" with an eight-part series.

"The time frame of the story skips over from here to the present, and the photo style ends up changing, too."
After completing the workshop and creating an artist book, I have consulted with Yumi Goto from Reminders Photography Stronghold to show my progress on the dummy book.
"Can you think of any ideas to show the story goes on like an interlude of a performance?"
"I don't want to just lay out old photos in chronological order like personal history. What should I do..."

In my photo book, there are multiple pages of photo images like going forward in the forest.
That is the section, which I am aware of the main character's presence going on a path. Since I had difficulty connecting various old and new photos seamlessly, I challenged myself to unify a lion and a person, also timescale and music with this section.

"If you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like an elephant roaming in the forest. [...] Do no evil deeds, free from desire like an elephant roaming in the forest."
Quoted verses from the Dhammapada (23: 329 - 330)

Master Fumiko Yamato suddenly left her brilliant stage career to dedicate her dance to the shrine.
While covering her story, I asked myself, "How can I build a real relationship of trust?" Many goodbyes and conflicts in giving and receiving love are the facts that I eventually found throughout the coverage.

With sincere respect for Fumiko Yamato's life as a dancer and the book's main character, I decided to release 68 books in total. That is the number to show her performance experience (as of the book's release).

It's obvious, but I feel that I have always been questioned by others if presenting my work as an artist is meaningful.
"Is this worthwhile to see?"
"Why should you see this story?"
For several years, I have closely seen her trying to find value and pass to others from all she has regardless of blood relationship.
It's not just for performing but can also be applied to parents or senior-junior relationships.

I could recapture this act gently, as sometimes painful, and something very precious.


The scene crosses my mind that firing a shot into the air, and Gordie points a gun at the gang leader Ace and glares at him.
"What are you gonna do, shoot us all?"
"No, Ace. Just you."
I think what he tried to protect was something invisible, hard to share, and sometimes worthless to others.
Even so, I have been wondering if the bullet flew high into the sky disappears as a momentary sound, and tomorrow would come as if nothing had happened.

This is the story of a dancer who lives in the moment while going back and forth between the imaginary world and real life.
I take my time to make a book one by one.
To give the finishing touch, I stamp my seal under the edition number.
At this time, I think of the silhouette in the backlight and the sharp sound.

Chon, chon.

Open the book, and the shamisen sounds, the while lion watches over the story until the end.
I haven't visited the theatre wing for a while where the sharp sound of wood announces the performance.
Yet, this book was born just because everything was there, for sure. I am proud of it.

I wish that the story will revive in the hands of someone I haven't seen yet, anytime, anywhere.

Thank you for reading this essay to the end.

(Translated by Harumi Masugo)


#essay #photo #photographer #documentary #photobook #series #love #storytelling #precious #standbyme   #longtermproject #Renjishi #sign

楠本涼|Ryo Kusumoto