BLURRED TIME: SACRED PLACES IN KYOTO


FOR OVER A THOUSAND YEARS, KYOTO HAS BEEN THE CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL CENTER OF JAPAN AND IS STILL HOME TO OVER 1500 TEMPLES AND SHRINES MADE OF WOOD. AFTER A LIFETIME OF INTEREST IN OLD JAPAN'S REVERENCE FOR NATURE, I MADE THE FIRST OF SEVERAL TRIPS TO KYOTO LITTLE REALIZING THAT I WAS ABOUT TO UNDERGO AN AESTHETIC TRANSFORMATION. I HAD EXPECTED TO MAKE BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS RELATED TO MY PREVIOUS LANDSCAPE WORK, BUT THE NEW IMAGES WERE FAILING TO CAPTURE THE DEEPER TRUTH THAT I WAS AFTER.


ASKING MYSELF HOW I COULD GO BEYOND MERELY THAT WHICH I COULD SEE, I RETURNED TO THE SAME TEMPLES NIGHT AFTER NIGHT AND BEGAN TO CHALLENGE PRECONCEPTIONS OF WHAT I THOUGHT A PHOTOGRAPH SHOULD BE. I EXPERIMENTED BY MOVING THE CAMERA DURING LONG EXPOSURES. THE MOVEMENT SEEMED TO ACCENTUATE THE STILLNESS I WAS FEELING AND ALLOWED SOMETHING MAGICAL, SOMETHING UNEXPECTED, TO HAPPEN. WAS THIS WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR?


I CONTINUED ALONG 800-YEAR-OLD STONE WALKWAYS BATHED IN THE UNIQUELY AMBER, ETHEREAL LIGHT FROM LAMPPOSTS. AN UNSEEN ENERGY APPEARED TO EMANATE FROM THE TREES AND MADE THE SILENCE PALPABLE. SOMETHING WITHIN ME SHIFTED. TRUSTING MY INSTINCTS, I BEGAN TO PHOTOGRAPH ANEW, WITHOUT THE NEED FOR EXPLANATION.


- - - -


THE WORK THAT INTERESTS ME MOST COMES FROM A PLACE THAT CANNOT BE REACHED BY WORDS. WHAT I WOULD ASK IS FOR YOU THE VIEWER TO JUST STARE AT THESE PHOTOGRAPHS, ONE BY ONE, AS YOUR EYES ADJUST TO ANOTHER WAY OF SEEING.

LET THEM INVITE YOU INTO THEIR OWN SILENT REALM.

KENNIN-JI, Eisai's Silent Bell, 2016
Archival Pigment Print

34 x 48"

TENRYU-JI, Temple Leaves, 2017

Archival Pigment Print

34 x 48”

IMAMIYA SHRINE, Torii and Maple, 2014
Archival Pigment Print

24 x 34”

DAITOKU-JI, Brown Trees, 2014

Archival Pigment Print

34 x 48”

DAITOKU-JI, Gate With Tree, 2014
Archival Pigment Print

34 x 48”

SHOGO-IN, Red Roofs, 2016
Archival Pigment Print

34 x 48”

KITANO TENMAN-GU, Tree Fire, 2014
Archival Pigment Print

24 x 34”

SHIMOGAMO SHRINE, As In A Dream, 2017
Archival Pigment Print

34 x 48”

KITANO TENMAN-GU, Red Trees, 2019
Archival Pigment Print

34 x 48”

KITANO TENMAN-GU, Kokoro, 2014
Archival Pigment Print

34 x 48”

KONKAI-KOMYO-JI, Monks Chant, 2014
Archival Pigment Print

24 x 34”

DAITOKU-JI, Temple Pines, 2019
Archival Pigment Print

34 x 48”

TENRYU-JI, #3, 2012
Archival Pigment Print

NANZEN-JI, #6, 2012
Archival Pigment Print




Blurred Time: Sacred Places in Kyoto


There are approximately 25 photographs in this series.  More will be added to the website soon. All are Archival Pigment Prints and printed by the artist in a combined edition of 24.  Sizes from 20 x 27 to 40 x 46".


For additional information, click here.


Video by John Thornton: Artist Richard Kagan, Energy Within Stillness,  YouTube 


Back to top





.





.







.





.






.





.


© 2018 Richard Kagan
All Rights Reserved