There’s a quality of undefined imagination to the photographed subject, where one can nonetheless wager a guess. As though looking through a fogged windowpane, is that a balcony? Or an empty field? Through her lens, the possibility becomes fuzzy – like the morning mist.
She tends to photograph the part rather than the whole, as if to grasp a fleeting emotion or impression, unspoken yet still accessible, through empathy.
“You seem to favour minute details and feelings,” “I usually photograph around my house, so there isn’t much for a long shot. I find it hard to relate to clear, illustrative images. Rather, it’s the ambiguous, abstract flirtation with the subject’s details which spurs my imagination,” Vis-à-vis a subject matter as familiar as home, she is still perceptive to the slightest change.
24-year-old Eguchi came from Tokyo. I came across her work in poubelle gallery in Nishi-Ogikubo, Tokyo. Founded in 2014 by Mr. Yazawa, poubelle showcases antiques, rural crafts, repaired objects, rare books, and artworks. Varied in colour and shape, each has its unique, comfortable place in the shop, collected for a specific purpose.
“I love walking around antique markets and poubelle is one my favourites. I often go there, just to look at those adorable objects,” Eguchi met Mr. Yazawa through a mutual friend. Fascinated by Eguchi’s work, Mr. Yazawa held a small exhibition in his shop to display subjects of his choice, photographed by Eguchi.
“I try not to move my subject when I’m photographing them. For me, their appeal lies in their being suspended in a certain state of being, and I try not to disrupt that,” Giving up arrangement in favour of observation, Eguchi’s work is a case for the joy of serendipity in a close encounter with things as they are.
It’s intuition stemming from heightened focus, the kind which presses the shutter without thinking.
“Being with my camera is a very humbling experience for my ego. It feels funny to develop the film, as though taking a step back to look at myself,” In that moment, film poses as a mirror between the photographer and the photographed.
“Pressing the shutter is like severing and gouging out an emotion, only for it to return as you flip through the photographs,” It’s like suspending a feeling, etched in the place where it was found.
“How did you start photography?” “My dad fell ill. It was something like not knowing how many days we had left, so I wanted to keep a record, and that’s when I started photography,”
“Often, what triggers my desire to express is something negative, like something I dislike or resist,” Suddenly, it all makes sense.
“I think ultimately, I photograph because I want to share, not because I want to deliver a message. It’s like… If I were to describe the beauty of what’s before me, or how the interaction between objects touched me, words will always fall short between what I felt then and what my reader feels now. The photograph is the missing piece,”
Besides photography, Eguchi also loves to knit. “I love watching the yarn grows into something, like an organism. It’s adorable. The process of turning a line into a three-dimensional object is also very mesmerising,”
“Are there similarities between knitting and photography?” “Instead of following step-by-step knitting guides, I usually play it by ear, which is like my photography. But other than that, they are complete opposites. When I’m knitting, I vaguely know the steps towards completion. I can take my time and remedy any mistakes. Photography is fleeting – that’s the difference which I enjoy,”
Whether it’s knitting or photography, it’s an art of creation – of growing, brewing and ruminating – of engendering life.