Underneath the velvet-textured cover is another world in blue and green, a stage showing how tangible objects interact with light. It is in such solemn tranquility that time seems to have frozen. This is a realm where light and mist interact to form a complete unknown atmosphere that breathes at its own pace and sink unhurriedly. The photos were taken with the Linhof Master Technika folding camera and developed in the photographer’s private darkroom. With one’s head covered by a black cloth, the photographer can only insert the film at the precise moment when the shutter is triggered. As a result, the outcome is never predictable. Seibutsuga, meaning “still life” in Japanese, is the title of the photo book themed around the earth and the light. The works are currently exhibited in Pon Ding, Taipei.
The story of the team Seibutsuga, which consists of photographer Yoichi Onoda, potter Kousuke Teramura, and designer Yuma Tobishima, started seven years ago in the debut photography exhibition of Yoichi Onoda. Tobishima was very impressed by the exhibition. He also got to know Teramura through Onoda, as he is the photographer for Teramura’s ceramics. On the official website of Kousuke Teramura, visitors can hear birds humming and water running outside of his studio. There is also the sound of Teramura shaping the clay with his pottery wheel and the sound of him placing the pottery on the table after the firing process. Different types of sound, together, form a beautiful symphony of pottery. This was the initial exhibition concept of Yuma Tobishima. Together with the photography by Onoda, the project has evolved into a photobook and an exhibition tour in Japan.
“It wasn’t my intention to keep the tone in blue or green. In fact, my original idea was to avoid making monotonous photography. However, when doing the setup, I just unconsciously tuned the brightness and color tone to a similar presentation,” said Yoichi Onoda. “I imagined it to be Taiwan in the 50s to the 60s. I guess I was heavily influenced by the movies A Brighter Summer Day and Taipei Story,” explained Yuma Tobishima. The two shared their thoughts during an interview with the Pon Ding art gallery.
Built around 90 years ago, the house designed by Arata Endo is a blend of western and Japanese style. The static people and objects placed in front of the scenery appear just like paintings. In the images where time is irrelevant sit fascinating and enchanting stories. Temporary things may pass swiftly away without leaving much significance, but you can realize how they are all connected as time goes by.