Yoshiyuki Okuyama photographed “Flowers” in the house of his late grandmother, now used as a studio space by Okuyama. Photographing flowers, plants and trees lit by the sun, Okuyama enters into a nostalgic, heartrending conversation with his late grandmother.
“There was a gentle calm in my grandmother's eyes.
She had skinny arms and a hard stoop.
She always wore a purple cardigan.
As I sit in this room all day long,
that is how I remember her.
I clearly recall her wrinkles and the tone of her voice,
even though I only saw her a few times a year.
In the late afternoon, the bright light that enters the room
has a color I feel I'm seeing for the first time.
The soft clicks of the shutter dissolve in the light,
accentuating the silence.
What was she thinking about?
To her eyes, how did the light look?
Gazing at the dust neatly gathered by the window,
I slowly release the shutter
with feelings of nostalgia and a little regret.
I must not forget.
We become realized, physically and mentally,
when we reflect ourselves off of other people.
That's why we always want someone
to listen to our stories.
That's why the color of the light must have been
too lonely on her own.
A conversation with my grandmother.
And the portrait of my life.”
— from Yoshiyuki Okuyama’s afterword (included in Japanese and in English translation)