⟨ Book ⟩

Moments In Life

A Gap In The Landscape

Words / 文心
Photography / Kimio Ng
Translation / Iris Heung

第一次看到了作者/攝影者日下慶太的作品是在疫情肆虐之前。在林林總總的藝術書裡,乍看之下《一窺囧鏡》顯得有點粗糙,封面和封底各是一層厚厚的紙皮,上面貼滿了貼紙;然而,每一個封面上所選取的照片及紙皮皆不同,每一本都是獨一無二的。

就像《一窺囧鏡》裡的照片一樣,作者熱情、有趣而誠懇。他曾解釋,「囧鏡」的意思是風景或人類在沒有防備意識下被拍到的瞬間。所以我們能看到,照片中的人大多沒有被拍得很「美」,而是呈現出生活裡最真實的一面。正正因為是在最自然的狀態裡,當中不乏趣味,或許時而無奈,時而尷尬。

這裏的「囧鏡」橫跨了10年,累積了日本國內各個地方的有趣瞬間,捕捉的畫面固然搏得笑聲,出色的標題更有畫龍點睛的作用。日下慶太先生運用自己作為文案者的豐富經驗,為每一個時刻設計了最貼切的標題。這些文字不但能協助讀者理解畫面,有時候更拓展了我們閱讀照片時的想像空間,本來有趣的照片在標題的配合下變得更加有趣。

具幽默感是一個令人艷羨的特質,欣賞別人的幽默感同樣能帶來滿滿的快樂和喜悅。透過《一窺囧鏡》去把日下慶太先生具創意的腦袋與敏銳的眼光借來,發掘自己生活中的「囧鏡」,那麼在不盡如人意的生活裡自然會過得較舒心。

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!