Thirty years after his debut, Japanese actor and photographer Masatoshi Nagase returned to his home of Miyazaki for a large-scale photo exhibition which this photobook accompanies.
Nagase has been visiting Miyazaki frequently in the year prior to the exhibition, capturing Miyazaki’s cityscape and its magical nature in a moody, nostalgic collage of streetsnaps, portraits, landscapes, detail shots and abstract patterns. Focusing on contrast-rich black-and-white photographs that go heavy on the blacks, with occasional color shots added in-between, Nagase portrays a Miyazaki of his memories from his own personal perspective.
The book includes essays by curator and editor Hisako Motoo and Miyazaki Art Center director Tatsuya Ishida (all texts available in Japanese and English translation).
“Although passing fleetingly, time has a weight that can never be lifted. Masatoshi Nagase senses this more than anyone else, and it is the seriousness with which he communicates this fact through ephemeral exporues that makes his work essential. I had previously been under the impression that it was his actor’s gift of emptying himself into a vessel for other personas that had also translated into a calling for photography. Now I think that causality may be working in the opposite direction. Photography, in fact, may be the intermediary through which he creates an emptiness necessary to precipitate, concentrate, and release his emotions, memories, and ultimately his self.”
— from Hisako Motoo’s essay “Time’s Passage Through Light and Shadow”