Le site de Léon Mychkine, critique d'art, membre de l'AICA, Docteur en Philosophie, chercheur indépendant
Some photographs by Hikari Ogura (and some Q&A) #1
One day we will have to skech a first outcome of all these artists “discovered” thanks to Social Networks, an incredible, and still unthinkable electronic space, which let at play and work a sort of net, indeed. A net made of what? Of knowledge, and surprises, and wonder, we might say. Hence, once again, thanks to one of the webnets, I made contact with Hikari Ogura photographs.
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!
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.