Joining the list of shows that the Covid crisis has caused to be postponed is our first show of work
by the Japanese photographer Risaku Suzuki.
Born in 1963 in Wakayama Prefecture, Risaku Suzuki currently lives and works in Tokyo.
One of Japan’s most prominent photographers, he has been working for over 30 years presenting
quintessential Japanese subjects – in particular cherry blossoms, a subject he has published two
books on - in a manner that is at once timeless and refreshingly new. Suzuki’s “Sakura” (the
Japanese word for cherry blossoms) are more than pretty pictures. Each individual image is a
play between sky and flower, positive and negative space, line and form - as well as a
contemplation of nature and an appreciation of the preciousness of every moment.
In Suzuki’s own words:
When I stand under a cherry tree and look up at the blossoms, I always feel as if I’m floating. The
blossoms continue beyond my field of vision, each shimmering so beautifully. It is impossible to
see them all.
I’ve been photographing cherry blossoms (sakura) for 20 years, trying to capture and convey this
experience. I use 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 inch film cameras to make large-format prints. I narrow the
depth of field to a single point and let the foreground and background go out of focus.
In “Sakura,” the blossoms of the intersecting branches appear melded together as one, making it
difficult to distinguish the foreground from the the background. My work is about the experience of
time and vision. The beauty of the sakura lies in the brevity of their blossoming, so I must rush to
photograph their brilliance and vitality. I photograph sakura not as the conventional symbol of
Japanese beauty but as an expression of the presence of time.