The 17th “1_WALL” Photography Competition Grand Prize Winner
Yu Kawasaki won the Grand Prize in the 17th “1_WALL” Photography Competition for “Scenes,” photographs in which he captured the chaos and tranquility to be found in the everyday lives of his family members. The judges expressed high acclaim for the appealing character of each family member he features, and for his photos’ energy balanced with a sense of gloom and entrapment.
Kawasaki’s solo exhibition will feature photographs he shot in his home town – Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture – showing his parents, elder sister, and scenes from the surrounding area undergoing depopulation. His father standing in a cluttered room; his mother doing exercises in the family living room; his sister walking gingerly in the rice paddies. Kawasaki’s photos contain the instants when the serious, and sometimes vacant expressions of his family members seen in their everyday lives somehow seem amusing. Ordinary scenes, yet out of the ordinary, captured as if by chance perhaps are occurring in places near to us. As we move from one photo to the next, the overlapping images seem to vaguely bring to the surface the problems and feelings we all have as human beings.
On July 13 (Fri), a talk event will be held with photographer Risaku Suzuki as guest. The theme will be the narrative nature of Kawasaki’s photos. We hope many visitors will take the opportunity to see the works of this promising grand prize winner.
1985 Born in Shiga Prefecture.
2009 Graduated from Waseda University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
2013 Completed a Master’s Degree in the Graduate School of Language and Society at Hitotsubashi University.
2017 Grand Prize winner in the 17th “1_WALL” Photography Competition.
Message from the Artist
Things that definitely were there before our eyes change form over time. To the extent possible, I want to be present to witness how the scene differs at every split second.
Words gone unspoken, voices never heard, scenes failed to be seen. This is always where my interest has lain. Where on earth do they go, vanishing, without form, one step ahead of having meaning?
Winter in this region not far from the Sea of Japan is severe. Clouds hang low, spirits sink. Spring, March, is eagerly awaited. The still-chill winds envelop the body as if caressing it. So you just have to wait till that time comes – and to watch too as it quietly vanishes away.
Message from One of the Judges
The first time I saw Yu Kawasaki’s photos, I was simultaneously struck by their freshness and their strangeness. His family members each have a connection: on one occasion in a sunset outside the city, on another amid scattered utensils. The photographer, it seemed to me, was giving up in resignation at the sight of the face on the other side of the lens, unable to “compete.” He perhaps (like everybody) has had a variety of ups and downs, and shares them in his etchings of time. And people reeling in everyday lives and lifting their faces outward. In “Scenes” we find the supreme ordinariness of places where nothing whatsoever is finished.
Kimi Himeno (Director, AKAAKA Art Publishing, Inc.)
Organizer: Guardian Garden