“Only I can deal with my own reality
And it is I who makes the most perfect photographic vector to my own reality
While I am bound by reality yet I will unravel it
There is no point in living for a hundred years
I am made of soul and flesh
I remain in my photographs
Within their ethical framework people are eating
Sometimes photography eats taboo
And love craves it
There are no ethics in love
When love takes over
Photography becomes toxic”
Fumiko Kaneko was someone who always resisted.
I encountered Fumiko Kaneko’s work when I was working on Toxic.
It was an encounter that has shaken my soul intensely. My vigour responded furiously to Fumiko’s vigour; it was the first time I felt fulfilled with resonating with another person.
I learned from my encounter with Fumiko the joy of resonating with others through sharing my spirit and flesh.
Toxic is a collection of negatives taken between 2005 and 2019 that have never been printed. These unprinted negatives are in a state of apparent death, and the “life” of these negatives seems to represent my own “life” that has been lost due to the death of my loved ones.
There are no subjects in my work.
My work is always about the reality before my eyes.
My photographs are assimilated to this reality which comes into existence through the photographic camera, and visualized on paper.
Taking photographs can be a resistance to absurdity.
"I believe that even if all phenomena disappear as phenomena, they continue to exist in the eternal existence of all beings."
These are the last words written by Fumiko in her notebook.
My vigour resonated intensely with my encounter with Fumiko. Thanks to that, my lost “life” and the negatives that were in a state of apparent death are revived.
I am deeply moved by such embodiment.
Fumiko’s words truly continued to exist in the eternal existence of all beings.
This reality encouraged my photography, and with my revived “life” I expressed my dedication and commitment to photography.
It is my own choice to put my life on the line for photography.
It’s not a path that someone else chose for me. It’s a path that I chose for myself.
My photography is about constantly devoting my body and soul to “I” and “self” between “reality” and “actuality”, assimilating the reality right in front of me, and visualising the reality and actuality that cannot be seen.
I believe in the philosophy of reality and actuality.
It is my greatest wish that my philosophy will be able to touch the hearts of the people and accompany them in this world today and in the future.
I am putting my life into how deep I can dive with my photography.
It is the artist’s job to pursue the ideal.
― artist’s statement
*KANEKO Fumiko: Born 1903, Fumiko was a Japanese Nihilist. She was prosecuted for high treason and hanged in prison at the age of 23.
In dark, lust-filled, inquisitive photographs, Japanese artist Hideka Tonomura examines the question of love and its taboos and absurdities. Similar to previous photobooks by Tonomura on the topic of love, such as “mama love” and “die of love,” the photographs themselves become seemingly form part of the pictures. Tonomura’s exploration of love is tied to the medium in which she operates, with subjects posing and sometimes gazing straight at the camera, and though not strictly self-portraiture, with “Toxic” Tonomura also appears to explore her own self within the photographs.