Hokkaido-based photographer Yoshinori Saito’s photobook “After the Snowstorm” captures the barren landscapes after heavy snowfall in the form of achromatic visual poems: single ferns, sticks, blades of grass and branches protruding in black from the white blankness of the surrounding snow. Each image page is accompanied by its title, barely visible, as if covered under snow, given in the language of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido, and in Japanese and English translation.
“When I walk on the fluffy virgin snow, in the distance I notice unusual forms. On closer examination they are only some weeds, with their stalks broken and leaves fallen, leaving only a skeletal form. Against the white snow these forms appear black and form sharp markings, as if drawn.
This monochromatic scene fascinates me and I capture that moment. It is as if the land is trying to tell me something, giving me strength to carry on and reminding me of the circle of life. This moment also gives me a deep connection to the indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido. They believe that when their time on earth is over, they return to God’s world, and in due course will reappear.”
— from Yoshinori Saito’s afterword (included in Japanese and in English translation)
Please note: slight creases on book cover