Some photographs by Hikari Ogura (and some Q&A) #1


Few human beings in Ogura pictures, a good deal of landscapes, cities, urban vistas, flowers, among others. Here, something which, to my idea, reveals the touch of the artist (one needs a hand to shoot). I like the perspective chosen, the visual rustling of the trees, like an undergrowth or a long elongated fleece; and these black poles on the left, and this feeling of disappearance as long as we visually move in, or along, the landscape. And I like this black bar down the image, as if the landscape would come to add itself to the first vision (meaning what? The obstacle of a window? which we’ll assume to be one of a train wagon). And all this white… Snow? I like to ask myself some questions facing up with a photograph. I like that a photograph murmurs me: “What do you see here?” “What do you discern? Tsugi!

Hikari Ogura, “View of Sapporo”, 2021

Ogara lives in Sapporo, fifth city of Japan, capital city of Hokkaidō and Ishikari Subprefecture. I also enjoy here the disappearance, say this moment which points, at the same time, at what is appearing and what is gnawed by… the real image, or the pollution. But, at this stage, what difference between ‘real’ and ‘pollution’? Isn’t that pollution is a part of the real, enscrusted inside? I like, in here, the overdensity of the elements, like Lego pieces; and this imposing railway on which, at this moment, a train progress. I enjoy this slow passage from black to white, bottom up, as if, and effectively, the more things are skimming the ground, and the more they are near the infernal, which can be but somber, or sluggish, while awake, above the city, are the spirits, in their incarnated whiteness.
 Ogura can also produce some non-figuratives pictures, as this one: 
Hikari Ogura,  2021


Here is a typical case where one wonder: What is it? No idea. One way of closing the case would consist in saying: this is an abstract photograph, which does not satisfy me, as I have already wrote it in another article. But this image intrigues me, and yet, this is something.


Léon Mychkine: First question, if you please: Why do you shoot often in Black & White?
Hikari Ogura: Black-and-white photographs reflect my heart.
LM: Oh ! that’s very poetic, but, is it possible to explain this metaphor?
HO: My photos have different feelings depending on the viewer. But that’s interesting to me. And when I take a picture, I capture the facial expression of the subject and the silent voice through the lens.
LM: « facial expression of the subject »: Do you consider that a landscape, a bird, for instance, have ‘faces’?
HO: I value the shape of the bird and use it as part of the accent in the photo. I don’t think the bird’s face is very beautiful.
LM: Alright, but, once again, and for exemple, does a landscape evoke a face, in a way? something I’m not allergic to hear, but I wish you to confirm or not if I’m right…
HO: The facial expression I mean is not a face with eyes, nose or mouth. It can be a stone, a flower, or a car. I never think I can take a good picture. I’m just filming them because it appeals to me.
LM: Alright, wonderful anwser! Since, it is quite obvious, there are some cultural differences between European/French people and Japanese, I’d like to know if it’s common to think of a thing, a landscape, a stone, etc., as gifted with some ‘facial expression’?
HO: I don’t think all Japanese people think the same way. I think that everything has energy and emotions. It is also the teaching of ancient Japanese gods.
LM: Of course! Still, there are some cultural and different beliefs, and for instance it will be very hard to find someone in France, say, for instance, who believes in feng shui, or in Shintoism, for instance. And nobody in France bent towards a blooming cherry tree (maybe we should). I mean, even if we obviously believe different things, we all come from some kind of a mould, don’t we?
HO: Hmmm… let me think a little. [Some time later] Japan is an island country, and because of the many natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, we have lived close to nature. The Japanese are a people who respect nature and value things. My answer to your question may not be correct. If you have to choose between a gift and a facial expression, it’s a gift.
More about Hikari Ogura:
Cover photo: Hikari Ogura, photograph, 02 01 2021


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