Where We Belong

Where We Belong

‟The darkroom” which is called a camera, is the artificial organ which technology has produced to allow human beings to effectively digest and assimilate the world.’
– Serge Tisseron ‹French psychiatre et psychanalyste›

-After heavy snowfall, a Japanese couple had taken their child deep into the forest, ordered him to sit still on the icy ground, and then proceeded to pack snow over his naked body. Using their car headlights lighting, the couple photographed every stage of activity leading to their child’s death. These photos were shown on TV screen. In the darkness of the photos one of the parents was also visible.
As I was staring the screen I heard the voice of social worker who involved this incident saying, “ The couple is saying that was a punishment on their boy. Well, that was one way of showing their love”

As "Familydom" theme describing the idea of family or the purpose of photography has changed enormously since Edward Steichen’s exhibition “The Family of Man” in 1955.
We no longer has to be on the long queue to see the images of undiscovered, unseen, unknown creatures in other side of the world like the audience of “The Family of Man” did at that time, instead, we can just passively sit in front of T.V, computer screen, or mobile phone and indulge ourselves in those flooded images 24/7, and such bizarre images of a boy buried in the snow by his parents I came across was just one of the example.
Comparison to that at the time of “The Family of Man” in 1955, people were still getting use to the photography.

As Serge Tisseron’s quote he is saying yes, it is the camera is a technology human being invented to digest many elements in the world effectively, but I am curious when us human beings can use camera in such unemotional, violent way as the young couple to record the whole stages of punishing their boy.
It can also be called as a "family photo" as well.
Although it was an act of child abuse, the parents had a their own logic behind their act of taking photographs, they justified enough to carry on the photo shooting until the moment the child died
in cold. I have witnessed many evidences in my daily life, the faster the progress of the technologies gets, it seems desensitizing human empathy. I often hear that nowadays between the family not necessary between parents and children, among a couple as well, communicating via mobile phone text even all of them is staying under the same roof.
Corrosion of family, being dysfunctional family is one of the new ways of family unit to exist/carry on
in this society?
It seems to me, the photographs of the boy taken by that young couples is one of the symbol of the time
we are living and, the ongoing change of relationship between photography and us human being, history of family photographs.

My ongoing photograph series entitled “Where We Belong” is probably a kind of reaction towards my encounter with this particular photo of boy being tortured by his parents. It made me question not only about the fact the boy was killed in a strange way but whole set up, the way social worker was commenting on it and the fact I am watching on the T.V such images as part of the normal day.

When I started to photograph of my own parents in various set up, often in the cold snow night and myself in nude up in the city building in blizzard night, I just began to see my parents occupying their space like strangers travelling to an unknown destination.
I feel that every image here captures the last moment of something. The last gasp of darkness, light, objects and people resigned to their fate.

When I shot the image entitled “Mother, Rope”, it was supposed to be just a portrait of my mother standing in front of the shrine gate, but the end image seemed filled with an echo of terror; something going to happen to her, but at the same time it resonances the state of peaceful moment that she is resign to sack into the light which comes from above her.
The rule of family, she had to live within or the law she has laid herself, in either ways, in the end she is going to be executed by the system she participated or obeyed in her life.
She seems to be appeared as a judge/an executor, but executor of herself.

If we look closely his or her own “Family”, or “Families” around us, it will be probably the best way to figure out the time we are living.

All the work are shot in B&W film and printed in Collotype; the technique was invented 150 years ago in France. I would like to my photographs to be appeared something like viewers can't identify when, where,by whom those photographs were taken.
The process of Collotype is time consuming and this slowness and density of the medium is total opposite from the fast pace we are living. Collotype, printed on Japanese Washi paper,the harmony/texture which has been created by the result of how French Ink and the Japanese Washi fibre,the way those two were integrated contribute to be able to reach to the highest/closest point to my sense of time through my photographic images.
I think Collotype seems very good at tracing/recapturing layers of time which my photographic practice is after. The depth of black which is very important to my work, and Collotype seems can re-create the settle difference/variations of the temperature and the smell of the each night which has been captured in my photography.

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Comments 2

Akiko Takizawa
2 years ago
Dear Tristam
Many thanks for such a insightful comment for my work.
It really meant at lot, and just to receive your message, I think it was worthwhile to enter the competition,although it was the last minute.
By reading your comments, how powerful writing/words can be.
Your comments were much shorter than my statement, but it sums up about my work,what I wanted to say so accurately.
I liked the way your interpretations of snow as well.
If I had a bit more time, I wanted to edited down, and re-write my statement. And I would like to focus on my writing as well as photography.
So you are artist yourself in London? Maybe we have passed each other somewhere.
Good luck with your practice and will be nice to see your work on this site near future! Best wishes akiko
tristam trondheim
2 years ago
Very powerful work !
Family is the first model of social hierarchy every individual experiences.
It is also the most simple and complicated, a place where love and violence often intermingle.
I think this work captures the family both as a natural bond and a highly coded social environment, where emotion of love, duty, guilt and repressed feelings are kept, literally, under the same roof.
The snow has the same quality, it's an all-enveloping embrace but also a threat to our existence.

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