_I lay down on the top of the circular water tank and close my eyes. Not the sense of being enveloped by the Universe, but of enfolding the Universe - I wonder if such an instant will come. Surely that will be the instant when I am liberated from the uncertainties and uneasiness of living and the fear of death. As I feel the soft light on my eyelids, this thought floats nebulously in my mind.
On the circle they intersect - linear time and circular time. On the circle they melt together - the ordinary world and the extraordinary world.
The sound of wind gently rustling the grasses. Bird song. Gunshot. Children's wails. The sound of water drops spraying up from the water's surface. On the circle sounds exist in abundance.
Was my mother's voice just an illusion?
The evening comes. I sit up. I stand on the water tank. In the fading light, I gaze at the circle of nothing.
It's not unusual for Hitoshi Fugo to use his photography as an exentded meditation on a single subject: his previous photobook, "Flying Frying Pan," was an entire series in which he looked at an old frying pan, and discovered galaxy-like configurations of light in its tiny nooks and crannies. With "On the Circle," Fugo has left the world of the frying pan, but he's still photographing in a fundamentally experimental way. In this work, he's set his camera up on a small circular patch of artificial grass, and taken all of his photographs from a slightly elevated perspective, looking down at the curve of this patch as it meets the dirt around it. From this starting point, Fugo's photographs cover a broad range of subjects and styles. Sometimes he takes what appear to be straightforward portraits, but he also plays with the scene, in a Surrealist style: he's introduced many different objects into his photographs, and in a particularly striking image, three women in swimsuits appear to execute a freestyle stroke across the circle. After discovering the universe in a frying pan, Fugo has returned to a circular area more in line with the scale of the human body, but he continues to find new ways to present the familiar in an unfamiliar way.
Includes an English translation of text by the photographer.