這本收集了橫跨花代3個階段的照片，以Keep an Eye Shut這個姿態總結了花代的攝影觀：使用相機拍照時，我們會閉上一隻眼睛，攫取的也只有一半的現實。
A few months ago, an interesting discussion circulated around Japan. It was said that how you hold your mobile phone while taking pictures with it could reveal your age.You are probably a youngster if you hold the phone with your fingers placed at the back of it, and you are likely from an older generation if you cup the four corners of the phone with your fingers. An older man was asked by a TV reporter why he leaves his fingers off the back of his phone while taking a photo and he replied, “The camera lens used to be so big, so I got used to keeping my fingers away from the lens and only gripping onto the sides of the camera.” Statistics reveal that people of 25years or above think similarly to this old man.
Indeed, traditional cameras are no longer as popular as they used to be. In the near future it’s likely that they will turn into a niche interest that appeals only to a small number of people — just like how a hat and cane were once indispensable to a gentlemen’s outfit; they are no longer a must in modern fashion.
I suppose, people will eventually forget what it feels like to hold a camera. And sooner or later, the younger generations will have no knowledge as to why we used to close one eye when taking pictures.
Hanayo was born in 1970, the year in which the world’s fair, Expo ’70, was held in Osaka. Hanayo began taking pictures at the age of 13 using an old Olympus Pen gifted to her by her father. During high school, she spent a year studying in Paris, and soon after her return to Japan, she decided to drop out of school and began training as a geisha apprentice in the hanamachi of Tokyo’s Toshima region. In 1995, Hanayo retired from the geisha world, started publishing her photography work, and gave birth to her daughter Tenko. Currently based between Berlin and Tokyo, Hanayo is actively involved in the art scene as a photographer, geisha, musician, and model.
Keep an Eye Shut is a compilation of Hanayo’s photographic output which vividly summarizes over two decades of her life. These pictures, which incorporate elements of chance such as over exposures and blurs, are blended with the time and space in which the picture is taken. May it be Berlin, Tokyo or Shanghai, Hanayo’s pictures share the same distinctive dreamy palette and bring the viewer into a surrealistic realm that mirrors the beauty of the world. To me, Keep an Eye Shut records more than just fragments of everyday life. It captures the essence of those split seconds that can only be reflected through lens and film.
In the foreword of Keep an Eye Shut, German artist Kai Althoffsays that he has never seen Hanayo taking a picture with a camera. He imagines that Hanayo may not have a camera at all and that her bare eyes act as the lens that captures every precious moment and that developing the film in the darkroom is like revealing to the world her soul and heart. Kai says that when we look at Hanayo’s photos, we are actually looking at the different dimensions of her soul.
When Hanayo first started taking pictures with her father’s camera, dolls and insects were always the subjects of her work. But since her daughter Tenkowas born, the dolls lost their charm and human faces began to appear in their place.
Hanayo documents her daughter’s growth in the photo book, Tenko. To a certain extent, the book also marks the end of a stage — Hanayo entered into a new phase of creative practice where she conveys scenes from her daily surroundings in abstract impressions.
From the sunset of 1996, to the two butterflies resting under the shadow of the trees in 2020, time flies but the precious moments stay frozen.
Consisting of Hanayo’s works from three different phases of her career, Keep an Eye Shut reveals both the framed and obscured reality she wants us to see through her lens.
Is a completely clear picture of reality always necessary? After all, beauty often lies within obscurity.