“It was a strange experience, tracing my father's perspective like that. The way that the moments seared into those negatives would never return.”
Rika Noguchi’s photobook “My Father’s Album” is composed of photographs taken by her late father Norio Noguchi.
After he passed away in 2013, Rika Noguchi went through his negatives and decided to print them herself. She has previously explored her father’s work and shot photographs using the Olympus camera she inherited from him, but in “My Father’s Album” she dedicates herself to exploring his photographs and her feelings towards it. In the darkroom, as she shone light on her father’s negatives to imprint them onto the photographic paper, she realized that she was tracing her father’s gaze. As she continued to develop her father’s photos—photographs of her and her sister, of her late mother who died in 1992, of her and her family’s life unfolding—she examined his photographic practice and gained a new understanding of the roles that photography may fulfill.
“I knew that my father had been interested in cameras, but I'd never thought about the question of whether his photos were any good or not. Now, though, as I went about developing his photographs, I began to think of him as a pretty talented photographer. That sense gradually morphed into a conviction …
“My father's photos were a personal thing, created for himself and his family. Yet I can't help but feel that feeling of contentment I experienced developing his pictures might be passed along to someone else, through the miraculous power of photography. It's my hope that that perspective of mine, tracing the perspective of my father, may be passed along to someone somewhere, and bring them some contentment.”
― from Rika Noguchi’s afterword (included in Japanese and in English translation)