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Photo project "TO THE WHITE SEA"

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to be part of a photography project. Through three corners, contact was made with a photography student looking for figures for a university project. The theme was inspired by the book "To the White Sea."

Here is a brief outline from the abstract of the project:

"To the White Sea" is a photo series inspired by the yet-to-be-made movie of the same name, which is expected to be a big hit. I vaguely juxtaposed adoration and reality in the motif of the escape drama of a U.S. soldier left behind in Japan at the end of World War II.

The novel by James Dicky was to have been made into a film by the Coen brothers around the year 2000 but was long shelved for commercial reasons. The World War II adventure film is about a gunner shot down over Tokyo who embarks on a dangerous and arduous journey back to Alaska. After landing on the Tokyo coast, Muldrow deftly slips through the air raids and escapes north on foot.

In this series of photographs, the photographer uses the original story as a motif, creating a fictional story that explores why people are drawn to vague worship and the gap between thought and reality. He took images inspired by the Coen brothers' unfinished screenplay. He combined them with photographs he took during his trip to northern Japan, focusing on the protagonist's admiration for his north hometown. The portraits of foreigners living in Japan that are included in the photo project represent a lonely existence in Japanese society that is the same as that of the protagonist.

You can view the entire series on photographer Takao Yamaguchi's website:

I am still deeply impressed by the emotional depth that these images radiate. All the photos were taken in a studio in front of a gray wall and later transformed by him into these atmospheric images. Each person portrayed carries a connection and story with Japan in their heart.

Each of us is connected to the Land of the Rising Sun, and I am very grateful for the chance to have this connection captured in images. The pictures above this section clearly show the direction I am moving. Towards the north, towards the sea, towards the beginning, and the end. Ever onward into the emptiness of simply being.

Thank you, Takao, for making my nature visible.

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