Fingers and Stars

Fingers and Stars

Takeshi SUMI

Publisher: LibroArte

By the time the light from a star reaches this finger, what has happened to the star from which the light is emitted? After the light ends a journey of thousands and tens of thousands of years, is the star itself no longer in existence? Or does it evolve in an unforeseen way and twinkle even more strongly?

Photographs record the world. The paper on which photographs are printed is a material I love. I move the fingers of my left hand slowly over the paper and the cutter knife I hold with the fingers of my right hand sinks softly into the paper. Sometimes I focus light on it with a magnifying glass. At those times, I'm filled with a sweet sense of satisfaction that comes from the feeling of holding the world, including the time, persons, and even the mind and heart it contains in my hand.

However, at the instant I hold the paper with those wounds up to the light, the world moves far away from my hand. The world I thought I was gripping tightly starts out from my fingers on a journey as stars in a place I will never reach. But I'm satisfied with this too. This is because stars are existent things that continue to shine, transcending my life and time. I want to get the same feeling from the drawings――the lines move from my fingertips to permeate every part of my inner being.

In 2009, I received an envelope. The sender was new to me. I opened the envelope and in it there was a letter asking if I would photograph the things left behind by her boyfriend, now deceased. In December of that year I took the photos. He was best known as You-sama――the musician Jasmine You. There was a mannequin dressed in a stage costume he had worn in life in the room he had decorated with his aesthetic sense. The girl who sent me the letter laid the mannequin down. But through her and You-sama I remember feeling in the silence how beautiful it looked.

Of course You-sama was not there. There was only a costume he had worn to perform the music he loved, the room arranged with his sense of beauty, and his girlfriend. But I felt You-sama there. Naturally this was no more than a feeling projected from what I sensed from her presence and the aura his costume projected. It was You-sama who had become a star; the real You-sama might have been completely different. But his presence that I felt through the things he had left, the presence of things that had adorned him in life, was very strong and beautiful.

The sense of seeing You-sama in her arms and the instant of seeing the world that appears transformed by the light that dwells in the wounds of a photograph. Neither may be real. But both connect to me as a star and continue to speak to me. Within a world in constant change, repeating death and birth, and the swift current of people's lives, the star, unchanging, gazes at me from afar and entwine the fingertips that this transitory human being reaches out with light.

― Statement from publisher