The photographs from the Forest series are the results
from your exploration of a specific forest. Where is this forest located
and what did attract you there ?
This forest is a famous forest
in Japan; it is protected by UNESCO. It has survived because of its
remote location and it holds one of the most ancient living plants on
earth – a tree that is said to be 7,000 years old. I was drawn into this
forest because of a brief experience in the Amazon years ago. The
forest is such a contrast to life in New York City in sound, but there
is this serene sort of chaos in a forest that is similar to a city, even
more so. Every living thing is individual, but a part of a larger,
connected cycle.In parallel to the forest series you have
photographed urban gardens which are imbued with a living breath, the
leaves of the shrubs seem to rustle and vegetation is climbing
everywhere in a chaotic way that one does not expect at the foot of
buildings. What is the story behind them?
abandoned lots in Brooklyn for many years. They were part of my own
environment, as I lived in one of these neighbourhoods. The weeds grew
tall enough to camouflage some of the
garbage and street cats. Then
one day, it seemed as though these empty lots morphed into “luxury
condominiums”. Parts of Manhattan experienced this same transformation,
particularly neighborhoods historically considered low-income, like
Harlem and the Lower East Side. Neighborhoods that consequentially drew
creative people of all sorts who had a hand in creating community
gardens. The artists were the people who were able to envision that
abandoned lots could become gardens. Most of the abandoned lots became
buildings, but others survived and were transformed into green oases as
gardens. Development has always been at odds with the nature.
Development seeks to destroy trees, grass and weeds, but these
photographs are evidence that sometimes nature can prevail.By these two series, as well as in the photograph Garden, Takamatsu,
you deal with two sides of the natural state, one in an urban
environment and the other in the wild, and yet these two series seem to
speak with a single voice, that of a free and powerful nature. How did
you tackle these two environments?
The experiences between the
two series are similar. The forest is an ancient community of nature and
being there makes me see things as if I were seeing a piece of art or a
wild animal. Both are very precious to me; it is as if I was visiting
that personal fairy tale of what real nature offers and we as humans can
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