Although “Zoo Animals” is Kota Sake’s photobook debut, he has already been an active photographer for more than ten years, including several solo exhibitions held.
A frequent visitor to the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, Kota concentrates on animals in captivity in his photography. Though stylistically sophisticated, there is neither warmth nor coldness in his photographs, just pure observation. With each new photograph, an unsettling sensation begins to grow in the viewer. Kota explores relationships like seeing/being seen, comforting/being comforted, and compels us to come face to face with uncomfortable questions about the natural world.
“They sleep in an artificial space, they get fed at determined times, and if they get sick, they will be treated by doctors.
Always gazed upon by humans.
Their silence confronts me with the abyss of my own existence.”
― from Koto Sake’s afterword (included in Japanese and in English translation)