Participation from the beginning of May till the end of July 2016

Kawakami Hisako is a photographer from Tokyo, who works with an analogue camera.

Plan before participating
“Before participating, I was thinking of taking pictures of squatters in the Netherlands. I had once participated in a symposium about the Netherlands and became interested in knowing about the existence of squatters.”

My process during participation
“However, when I actually visited the Netherlands, I learned that the act of squatting itself is currently prohibited in the Netherlands. Several people introduced me to squatters, but they didn’t want their pictures taken. To continue my work, I felt that this theme was hard to realize, and I started looking for another photographic subject.

On the other hand, my homestay family became a photographic subject with ease. And also people walking in the city gladly let their pictures be taken. That might have been because I am a foreigner. I couldn’t connect through words well, but by taking pictures I could effectively establish a sense of distance with people. Photographing the standpoints of Dutch strangers whom I just met once and probably won’t meet again, and my host mother and her family whom I met every day, like a daily bubble that does not disappear. I therefore named and exhibited it as: ‘Ephemeral Days’.”

All of these pictures were presented during her birthday and from now on she wants to hold a likewise presentation every year on her birthday, wherever that may be.

Kawakami also held workshops during her stay in Amsterdam. In this workshop the participants had to use one of the photographs that she took and write a story about this picture. The picture and the new story would together form a new memory, a re-memory. She later combined this in a book, a diary of new memories.

After the project participation
“There is not one big thing that changed me because of living in the Netherlands. However, there are these minor differences from life in Tokyo, for example: “reborn fresh flowers every day“, “The sun will not sink even at night“, and “the number of bicycles more than cars, the road with less exhaust gas“, etc., that have completely changed the foundation of how I live.”

Furthermore, Kawakami liked working with the Japanese concept: ‘ichi-go-ichi-ei’. Which is a Japanese term that describes a cultural concept that is often translated as “for this time only,” “never again,” or “one chance in a lifetime.” She therefore approached each meeting as a once-in-a-lifetime encounter and cherished each and every meeting through her photography.

I was very pleased to host the young photographer Hisako in my apartment in Amsterdam. She was enthusiastic, ambitious, open-minded and eager to discover Amsterdam and experience the freedom of this city.’

– Hinke Bruinsma, artist

Please visit her website: > http://www.hisakokawakami.com <

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