The Baku Swims in Dreams


The Baku Swims in Dreams

Takashi HARA

Publisher: Sokyusha

The Baku is a creature from Japanese folklore that eats nightmares, a being forged from the parts left over when the gods were done making all the other animals. But the word is also used to refer to the real animal of the tapir.
It’s this vague line between the dry banality of the real world and the strange tragedy that lies beyond that percolates Takashi Hara’s photobook “The Baku Swims in Dreams.” Black-and-white photographs of ordinary scenes and moments captured at just the right time. Hara seems to possess the ability to pierce through the appearance of the world as if it were a thin membrane. His photographs depict the real, but tinted with a hint of something deeper; perhaps a new truth, a threat, a long-forgotten memory, or something else. Legend has it that if you allow the Baku to devour your nightmares too often, it starts to devour your hopes and dreams as well.

“Yes, they were undoubtedly there then—in front of a vast sea, inside the shopping centre, inside a house lined up with other houses along the river, and inside the zoo cage. These moments that may seem calm and peaceful at first glance have an uncertain and unsettling atmosphere hidden behind them. We simply look at them—they catch our hearts, but we cannot find any words in ourselves, and we can only stare at them as we let our town time swim in the moments that carry their existence in photographs.”
― from Kanae Takahashi’s afterword (all texts included in Japanese & English)


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Book Size
231 × 270 mm
72 pages, 67 images
Publication Year
English, Japanese
Limited Edition

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