PROJECTS BY YUKA KATO

- MAIN PROJECTS -
Full-length works correspond to the production of a photo book.

2013 Iron sand in the sandbox, 2902
 
2016 See you in next life
P.Statement
2017 Meteor Trail
P.Statement
2018 I love you, SAYONARA
P.Statement
2019 Put the paws on the eyelids
P.Statement
2019 Treasures in heaven
P.Statement
2020
"Oji Byo Bou" P.Statement
2021
Good Bye Tokyo P.Statement

 

- ONE BIG PROJECT -
Photographs taken during a year and a half trip around Japan.
I present them with poems.

2022 A flower in a small room P.Statement

 

- FUN PROJECTS -
The works are rooted in a unique worldview, but with a touch of humor.

2019 Lucky tea stalk P.Statement


<< Back to Main Menu


 

 

 

 

 



STATEMENTS OF PROJECT


See you in next life (2016)

The original Japanese name for "see you in next life" is "ichiren takushou".
This phrase,"Ichiren Takuseshou" does not have a good image in Japan today, but it is originally a Buddhist term that refers to being born on the same lotus in the Pure Land of Paradise after death.
It is a term used when people who are united by the same faith wish to live together in paradise in the next life.
It was my encounter with the original meaning of "Ichiren Takuseshou" that led me to create this work.
At one time, my family, benefactors, friends, and other important people kept dying, and the most painful thing was the sight of my mother-in-law left behind when my father-in-law left.
Later I came across the phrase "Ichiren-tsusei," and imagined what those who had passed away would be like and where they would be.
"We will meet again."
I felt my heart light up just thinking that.
This is an experience that we all go through. I hope that when you are going through a difficult time after the loss of a loved one, by picturing the deceased waiting for you with a smile on his or her face, even if just a little, your heart will move toward a brighter direction.
With this in mind, I created this work, "Ichiren Takushou".

< Back to Top

 

 

Meteor Trail (2017)

The word "meteor trail" refers to the trail left in the night sky after a relatively bright meteor has passed.
In my previous work, "Ichiren Takushou",english name:" See you in next life", I expressed the world of rebirth and paradise, which is rooted in Buddhism.
In contrast, in "Meteor Traces," I expressed my hope that the precious time we spend living in the present with our loved ones on this earth will continue forever.
In contrast to the color composition of "Ichiren Takushou", "Meteor Traces" is in black and white.
Basically, I use color when I am figuratively expressing "the future" or "something that is not me.
On the other hand, I use black-and-white compositions to represent moments scattered in the past, which are real and the paths we have actually walked.
I named this work "Meteor Traces", comparing the time spent with loved ones to a meteor and the photographs to its traces.
< Back to Top

 

 

I love you, SAYONARA (2018)

A thousand and several hundred years ago, Japan had a conscription system called SAKIMORI as a precaution against invasion from abroad.
This system forced many people to say goodbye to their loved ones.
The duration of SAKIMORI was three years, but the distance traveled to the place of posting was more than 1000 kilometers (620 miles).
There were many problems with the travel itself, such as sickness and the presence of bandits, which made it very difficult for her to arrive at her own home where her family was waiting for her, even after she had successfully completed her term.
The family also had no guarantee whatsoever after losing their worker husband for three years. And there was no guarantee that her husband would return.

In a Japanese poetry anthology of the time called "MANYOUSHU", there is a poem about such a couple.
The husband left for the draft, and the couple wrote this poem hundreds of kilometers apart.

I wonder if my wife can see me waving to her from a high pass, even though we are so far apart.

If she had dyed her husband's kimono in a darker color, would she have been able to see him waving?

I do not know when or where this couple wrote this poem.
I don't know when or where the couple wrote this poem, and I don't know if they were ever reunited.
This poem embraces the inevitable "fate" of its time and expresses deep love in a few words.
I was moved to tears as the image of these two people caring for each other came to my mind.
This work was created with the hope that this couple will be reunited and have a happy ending.
< Back to Top

 

 

Put the paws on the eyelids (2019)

This work is a sequel to "Meteor Trail".
In "Meteor Trail", I created a certain level of abstraction by using a back view as the subject, but in "Put the paws on the eyelids", I placed a photograph of my husband as the subject to create a more personal and subjective work.
The title of this work was inspired by a sentence from a short story titled "Caress" by the writer Motojiro Kajii.
The content of the novel, in which a kitten's soft, warm soles are placed against the eyelids to savor the fleeting respite before it claws its way away, resonated with the theme of "Put the paws on the eyelids", which is the fleeting passing of time with a loved one and the parting that will one day come.
This work is a tribute to the unique darkness and humor of Kajii's literature.
< Back to Top

 

 

Treasures in heaven (2019)

The Japanese title of this work is "Nemuri Ruri".
The word "Nemuri Ruri" is a coined word.
Nemuri" means sleeping and dreaming.
Ruri" is one of the seven treasures that make up the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.
Together, these two words represent "precious treasures that are fleeting and vanishing.
For me, it is the time I spent with that person who is most important to me.
It differs from person to person, so it may have no value to others, just like a small child's treasure.
The series of works looking at life and death that began with "Ichiren Takusei" was temporarily completed with "Nemuri Ruri" due to the change in environment and state of mind caused by Corona.
However, my stance of "communicating with my heart through photography and learning the essence of life" will be carried over to my later works.
< Back to Top

 

 

"Oji Byo Bou" (2020)

This work was born at the time when I was deciding whether to continue working under the Corona Disaster or to take the plunge and quit, and I decided, "Let's go on a round-the-Japan trip! After wondering whether or not to continue working at Corona Disaster, I decided to quit and set out on a round-the-jump trip around Japan.
When I revisited this work two years after its completion, I found myself in a jumble of anxiety, hope, and feelings that I could not put into words.
In order to express the trajectory of such confusion, I have dared to exhibit a total of 101 seemingly random photographs.

In my previous works, I had "composed photographs under an important message," but in "Oji Byo Bou," I left the message to be conveyed behind.
However, now that I have successfully completed my trip around Japan, I have completed my work with that thought.

Fun, sad, and various events will one day become distant days.
So, even if it is the most anxious and difficult path you are on right now
Make a choice that is honest to your heart.
Go forward with the image of your future self smiling.
I will be happy if this work will be a catalyst for you to take a step forward with determination.

In the midst of the calamity, I took a major life turn and embarked on a new journey.
That is why I am here today, without letting go of my favorite photograph."

Photographer Yuka Kato
< Back to Top

 

 

Good Bye Tokyo (2021)

This work expresses the changes in my emotions over a period of several months, from the point where I was in danger of losing my job due to the Corona disaster and had hit rock bottom mentally, to my decision to set out on a trip around Japan to make the most of my time.
It is a story of me taking a step forward in life, saved by the words "Sayonara is the only life" in the depths of anxiety and despair, and shouting "Farewell is the door to a new world".
The photographs are presented in a sequence that follows this story, and the change in the ratio of color and black-and-white images at regular intervals directly represents the change in my emotional state.
Under the worst circumstances, we force ourselves to misunderstand the situation with only "reversible thinking," and if we actually take action, as long as we keep moving forward, we will get somewhere. I now feel deeply that this was the best decision we could have made.
The irresistible changes in the environment caused by external factors may be our best friend to push us forward with the courage we lack.
< Back to Top

 

 

◆A flower in a small room (2022)

"A flower in a small room" was taken during a trip around Japan that started on July 13, 2020 and ended on December 24, 2021.
It is a full-length work composed of fifteen chapters for each stage of the journey, and the photographs are presented with poems.
The title comes from the words of the proprietress who told us at an inn in Aomori Prefecture, the place where we started our journey.
She said, "Even if you don't have a house or expensive things, the happiest thing is to have someone you can talk to about how beautiful you look with a single flower in your small room.
These words of hers became the theme of our journey and the title of our work.
< Back to Top

 

 

Lucky tea stalk (2022)

"Lucky tea stalk" is a work that captures the moment of encounter with a cat.
I love cats, but I can't have one because of my allergy, so meeting a cat on the street is the happiest moment of my life.
I chose the title to compare this joy to the joy I feel when a tea stalk erect in a teacup, a sign of good luck.
The number of photographs is 88, based on the lyrics of the Japanese song, "Tea Plucking," "Eighty-eight Nights of Summer Approaching.
In Japan, "eight" is an auspicious number.
Although it was an afterthought, I am satisfied with my good job.
I hope that cat lovers will be happy when they see this work!

< Back to Top