“The Japanese have a unique understanding of landscape. The term for “landscape” in Japanese is “fukei,” which combines the notion of “flow or wind”(fu) and “view or scape”(kei) – hence, “flowing view.” Landscape is thus considered not static, but transient, ephemeral, never stopping. The flow of time is a vital part of this understanding: in the Japanese arts, time’s passage in nature, and the changing seasons, are central motifs. Yutaka Takanashi relies of the haiku of the 17th c. poet Matuso Basho to explore that meaning in photography; the passage of time as articulated in photography parallels the experience of the poet. Takanashi clarifies the distinction between the scappe before the camera in the creation of the photograph, and in doing so the landscape photograph is defined in moments of time. Fukei photography is by no means restricted  to natural subjects: it can be  about cities, people, and architecture. Whatever its subject, the Fukei is a paradox: a fixed view of something that is understood to be by definition, in flux.”

Hatanaka, Akihiro. Kanbayshi, Yutaka. Vartanian, Ivan. Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers. 2005.

~ by crossmd on July 13, 2010.

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