The photobook “Photographing the Absence” explores the photographic work of Mitsuhiro Kamimura in three parts.
“To photograph the ‘gone’ is not to photograph ‘nothingness’ or ‘emptiness’. The person holding the camera is drawn to what was there, even though it is no longer there. That is why there is an ‘absence’.”
― from Toshiharu Ito’s essay “Photographing the Absence” (included at the back of this book)
The first part of the book is composed of 57 images from four series taken between the 1980s and the 2000s, in which Kamimura photographed physical or metaphorical instances of absence: architectural manifestations of land speculation during Japan’s speculative bubble, shadows of people passing by, a shopping street about to disappear.
The chapter is followed by nine photographs taken in 1968 in the earliest days of Kamimura’s photographic career, included on request of the book’s editor Tamami Iinuma. She wanted to include snapshots from the time “before the absence began to appear in Kamimura’s eyes”.
The last part of the book features color photographs from two series, “Zoos” and “Beyond Infinity”. In “Zoos”, Kamimura “tried to depict the zoo as a stage set by looking at the relationship between the viewer and the viewed” through his camera. “Beyond Infinity” features architecture photographed with the focal length of the camera set beyond infinity, resulting in scifi-like images that question the state of contemporary society and its overwhelming conveniences.
All texts included in Japanese and in English translation.