INVOCATIONS: ALONG THE PATH IN SACRED PLACES


FOR OVER A THOUSAND YEARS, KYOTO HAS BEEN THE CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL CENTER OF JAPAN AND IT'S 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 PHOTOS RELATED TO MY PREVIOUS LANDSCAPE WORK, BUT THE NEW IMAGES WERE FAILING TO CAPTURE THE DEEPER TRUTH THAT I WAS AFTER.


I ASKED MYSELF, HOW COULD I GO BEYOND MERELY THAT WHICH I COULD SEE? RETURNING TO THE SAME TEMPLES NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, I BEGAN TO CHALLENGE MY 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?


AS I CONTINUED ALONG 800-YEAR-OLD STONE WALKWAYS BATHED IN AN ETHEREAL AND UNIQUELY AMBER LIGHT FROM LAMPPOSTS, AN UNSEEN ENERGY MADE THE SILENCE PALPABLE AND WITHIN ME I FELT A MAJOR CHANGE. I TRUSTED MY INSTINCTS AND BEGAN TO PHOTOGRAPH ANEW, WITHOUT THE NEED FOR EXPLANATION.


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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, #3, 2016
Archival Pigment Print

TENRYU-JI, #5, 2017
Archival Pigment Print

IMAMIYA SHRINE, #13, 2014
Archival Pigment Print

DAITOKU-JI, #12, 2014

Archival Pigment Print

SHOGO-IN, #7, 2016
Archival Pigment Print

KITANO TENMAN-GU, #4, 2014
Archival Pigment Print

SHIMOGAMO SHRINE, #7, 2017
Archival Pigment Print

KITANO TENMAN-GU, #5, 2014
Archival Pigment Print

DAITOKU-JI, #8, 2014
Archival Pigment Print

KONKAI-KOMYO-JI, #1, 2014
Archival Pigment Print

TENRYU-JI, #3, 2012
Archival Pigment Print

NANZEN-JI, #6, 2012
Archival Pigment Print

INVOCATIONS: ALONG THE PATH


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.



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© 2018 Richard Kagan
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