When I first encountered the work of author/photographer Keita Kusaka, the outbreak of the pandemic has yet to come. At first glance, A Gap In The Landscape appears to be crudely made. It has cardboard-made front and back covers with colorful stickers attached here and there. But at second glance, you would realize that each copy of A Gap In The Landscape actually comes with a different type of cardboard and stickers, which make every copy unique in appearance.
Looking at the photography in A Gap In The Landscape is like meeting the author, who is passionate, humorous and earnest. He once said the word “gap” in his book title refers to the split moments when the shutter catches some interesting images of people, animals or scenes that are not staged. Beautiful portraits in the conventional sense are nowhere to be found in his photobook, since what Kusaka captures are the most unpretentious facial expressions and actions of people. The photos are not staged at all, but the photographer managed to shoot a lot of funnily embarrassing instances.
The photos collected in A Gap In The Landscape were taken in a span of ten years. The photographer took with him his camera all around Japan for all of these hilarious moments. The cherry on top is, of course, the photo captions. Kusaka made use of his experience as a writer to pair his photos up with aptly written text. The captions do not only help readers understand the scenario better, but sometimes also widen the horizon of our imagination. Thanks to the captions, the already interesting images are even more comical to look at.
Humor is truly a quality that everyone wishes for, it is undoubtedly also joyful to admire other’s humor. A Gap In The Landscape is also a gap for us to sneak into Keita Kusaka’s playful mind to see our ordinary surroundings in an unexpectedly creative way. Let’s all explore this gap in our everyday life and look for ways to lighten up our distressed mood!