In his poetic photobook titled “You can cut an onion without crying,” Japanese photographer Shohei Takenaka focuses on the ready-at-hand beauties found within daily life. After the fireworks on the opening pages, his isolated, fragmented moments show light shimmering on asphalt, leaves of grass hidden and highlighted by the interplay of shadow and light, a single foot standing on a sunlit mattress, a weary-looking polar bear at the zoo, an onion on a kitchen table.
“With just a tiny little trick,
you can cut an onion without crying.
When did I first learn about that?
When I helped my mum with the cooking,
crying tears in the kitchen, I didn’t know about it yet.
After I had studied light under my professor,
I always followed any light I saw.
That is when everyday life began to look a bit different.
It is, I guess, a bit like how you cut an onion.”
— from the artist’s statement (translation by shashasha)