A decomposed jeans jacket, feathers and the remains of a plastic bag, figurines, plastic bottles, the handle of a katana sword, broken glass. Japanese photographer Shinichiro Uchikura has wandered the shores of his home of Miyazaki Prefecture in search of the flotsam and human artifacts spat out by the sea.
His series “The Sea of Oblivion” consists of black-and-white, portrait-like still life photographs of these objects—objects that have outlived their original purpose and found their way into the sea, discarded from the human world. Transformed by time and the sea, they have gained new meaning, new presence.
While Uchikura’s actions of collecting, arranging and photographing breathes new, unexpected life into these objects, his series also touches upon serious themes, such as the relationship between humans and their surroundings and the lasting impact of our lifestyles.
In addition to Shinichiro Uchikura’s photographs, “The Sea of Oblivion” also includes essays by Michiko Kon and Kenji Takazawa as well as a foreword by the artist (all texts in Japanese & English).
“As he walks through the coast, he finds and collects small chairs shaped like rusty crabs, glasses that have lost their owners, clocks, and filthy dolls.
I imagine him offering the objects he chose on a white cloth; as if making a collage on the coast, he creates something that exists only temporarily, photographs them, and repeats such action.
If it comes to his hands, lost time and damaged bodies of such forgotten and meaningless castaways are transformed into something innocent and dainty.
Something is charming about that.
The sacred objects in the monochrome seem to go into a quiet sleep as if they have been waiting for a long time.”
― from Michiko Kon’s essay