Photo exhibition by Kentaro KUMON



Duration: Friday , 6th January - Saturday , 28th January 2023  

Copyright (c) Kentaro Kumon All Rights Reserved

Ten years have passed since I began traveling to visit "farming" landscapes. The landscapes I encountered on my travels are burned into my eyes, and the conversations I had with farmers and the tastes I experienced on my tongue remain firmly in my memory. More than the photographs I took, it is the accumulation of these memories that has made me who I am today.

Whenever I meet someone for the first time, I always ask where they are from. This is because the local "farm" gives me a chance to talk with them.

Are you from Miyagi? This time of year, parsnips are delicious. We wait for the frost to melt before harvesting. It's hard work in the cold. But they are indispensable for nabe (hot pot)," or "Fukui? Ono's taro is the best in Japan. That stickiness. Oh, I want to eat it. In his and my mind's eye, I see the way the celery, which had been covered with frost, turns bright yellow-green as it is slowly bathed in the morning sun, and the big leaves of the Kamisho taro shaking in the bright blue sky. And nowhere is there anyone who feels bad about being praised for the delicious vegetables of their hometown.

Even those who say they grew up in the city have a connection to some place, such as their father's family or their ancestors, and there is always "agriculture" in their memories. I have a renewed sense that for us Japanese, the landscape of "agriculture" is our original landscape.

The land creates people's lives, and people's lives create landscapes" is the theme of my work as a photographer. I have walked in different places, starting from "farming" to "rivers," "peninsulas," and "islands," but wherever I have gone, I have found the history of people's ingenuity and efforts in the landscapes I have seen. The apple trees, which at first glance appear to be growing naturally, are a form of beauty created by the farmers who took the time to consider the sunlight in order to produce bright red fruit. The field where komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach) was to be planted had been plowed and carefully leveled, and the soil looked more like soft bedding than soil. The stone walls piled up on the steep slopes were made up of distorted stones, one on top of the other. The stones are beautifully interlocked and supported without any gaps between them. They are all landscapes that people have created over time in order to continue to enjoy the blessings of nature.

In a farming village in the mountains, a house stood quietly after people had finished living there. The house was covered with mountain wisteria and was about to decay. The "farming" landscape there was coming to an end. If people stop their activities, the place will soon return to nature. It was a scene that made me realize that our daily lives are in constant contact with nature. Nature and business activities. These two things have created the original landscape of Japan. I would like to think a little more about where we come from and where we are going back to while looking at this "agricultural" landscape.

Kentaro KUMON

(株)冬青社  〒164-0011 東京都中野区中央5-18-20  tel.03-3380-7123  fax.03-3380-7121