With its caleidoscopic variety of subjects, scenes, views, angles and colors, Ryuichi Ishikawa’s photobook “zk” is not only a follow-up to his 2014 series “A Grand Polyphony” but an expansion of its underlying concept.
Ishikawa captures – with great energy – snapshots of reality that are loaded with emotions, ideas, compassion and, simply, an almost palpable presence of his subjects. Using images shot all over Japan (but mainly in his home of Okinawa) between 2012 and 2019, Ishikawa employs the gift of temporal distance to his images to compose another grand, spectacular view of life in single moments – from portraits of strangers and friends to instants of Japanese folk culture, details of a street’s surface, dildos and sex play, nightly urban sceneries or simple street photography.
“‘zk’ is a coded symbol for a spectacular view (zekkei in Japanese), and for the surge of emotion that floods the entire body, via the sense of sight, when we encounter certain amorphous views. It signifies the relationship between landscape and emotion, between outside and inside. The feelings that emerge the moment the view is seen, the body's reaction to the camera's shutter release, the thought process of interpreting them, the self which encompasses all that has occurred up to the present moment. Symbols are culture. Culture is the collective. The collective is movement. Movement is existence. Existence is will. Will is the exterior of everything. All things exist, not for the purpose of someone or something in particular. The world is both outside and inside. It is only being that connects everything, and being overlaps with nothingness. Overlapping, fluctuation, entanglement. Go beyond "meaning." Simply exist as part of the world that is.”
― from Ryuichi Ishikawa’s afterword
The book also features an essay by curator Taro Amano. All texts included in Japanese and in English translation.