Suilen Higashino started doing photography as early as at the age of 14. She has a pair of eyes that are particularly sensitive to light.
She has published a few photobooks of various themes, but lights seem to be, after all, the theme that means the most to her. The composition of light under her lens can always leave a strong impression on the viewers. Pendant 1957-2018 is a collection of photos documenting her daily life over two years, with a random mix of some old photos she found when going through the possessions of her late grandfather. These photos were taken by her grandfather over half a century ago. To her delightful surprise, Higashino found a resemblance between her own photography and her grandfather’s.
Pendant means “during” in French.
Higashino was born in Israel, where her mother was raised. Her father was, on the other hand, born and raised in Japan. As a result of her mixed background, Higashino has a hybrid cultural identity and has a fluid way of seeing things. Four years ago, she returned to Israel to her grandfather’s home when he passed away. There she found boxes of items that were labeled carefully. She then realized how organized her grandfather was. In an old Kodak box, she discovered a pile of photos taken by her grandfather, some were even taken over 60 years ago. “Looking at these images, I felt very much connected to him, although we were not that close when he was alive.” Her grandfather was born during wartime; the pain, the weight of history, and the trauma might not be so obviously shown in his photography, but Higashino could somehow begin to sense his life and memory by seeing these photo documentation.
“This reminds me of how a photo I shot today actually belongs to the people in the future. I am documenting the world of this precise moment to leave a memory for the future. I photograph every little moment of my life; all I am doing is to keep a record of the calm and bright moment that I witness every day.” Images in her photography are things that can be easily seen in any parts of the world, for instance, sunshine, an olive tree in a bright sunny day, or some light seeping through tree branches. “My photography is non-descriptive, but I would like to show to my viewers that there are a lot more to be seen, such as the meaning of existence.”
Her child was born when she was making photography for this book, “This abruptly placed me in a world of non-verbal communication. ‘What is on your mind?’ ‘Why are you crying?’ When our eyes meet, I finally got to know that natural instinct is the way we both rely on to talk with each other.” This moment ended up connecting back to all the earlier moments.