The Views of Magic Lantern by Sachiko Kawanabe
The collection is composed of landscapes of my hometown and portraits of my family that represent the bonds we share in life.
We often hear that people cannot live alone. Even if someone thinks he is alone, that person was not born out of the blue. There must be a place or a parent that bore him. We tend to forget this when we are busy doing daily chores and fall into loneliness. We may forget what’s important as a human. If we keep saying to ourselves that “all life is connected” or “I must be tied with someone, someplace,” we may find life easier to live.
Giving birth after going through a long tormenting labor has made me realize that I was born from my mother and my life has now been passed down to my daughter. There are many bonds that exist, and it is not only limited to life but exists with the soil and even with nature. Whatever the bond may turn out to be, it feels warm to be connected. The warmth is nourishment that bears hope and is the foundation to live life.
We always have a place where we are tied. We all have a birthplace and I believe there’s a special bond or force there. We feel enveloped and relieved by the force as we stand there. I find that the scenery is not what a traveller sees as a passing sight; it provides a rich energy to those who take a moment to stop and look around.
When I visit my hometown few times a year, I take photographs of seasonal scenery within walking distance from home, either by myself or together with my mother and my daughter. Paths I walked on during my childhood days, the shrine where I used to play near, at the top of the hill, and Lake Suwa, a place that can be seen no matter where you stood. Sometimes the figure of my daughter overlaps with myself when I was small. Sometimes the figure of my mother overlaps with Grandmother. When the three of us – my mother, my daughter and myself - stand on the land where we were born, I feel the bond with the soil from ancient days and the sensation of being well protected by the unknown that wraps me. I capture the scenery that comes across my eyes when I feel the sensation. It is as though it’s an image on a lantern that is pale and fragile, and disappears in an instant.
Sachiko Kawanabe lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.
To view more of Sachiko's work, please visit her website.