Project info

What will death bring to us?

My paternal grandmother (Sugako Nakamura) passed away in May 2018. Fortunately, it was a peaceful death, so it was a gentle funeral.

A month later, I had a solo exhibition at Omotesando Hills in Tokyo.
During the exhibition, The digital signage at Omotesando Hills displayed the main visual of the grandmother.
People coming and going in the city, watching the digital signage without being aware if she was alive or dead.
It made me feel very strange as I was in the "wavering" of losing my grandmother.

Sugako's husband, Mamoru (my grandfather) had covered his traces when she was young. I found out about this fact when I told my family that I wanted to be a photographer.
He had a hobby of photography, and my grandmother showed me a family album that my grandfather had taken.
When my grandmother passed away, I looked back at that family album and noticed that there were similar photos of me and my grandfather taken.
I realized that my grandfather watched our family in the same light as I did. I felt close to him who I had never met.
When I think about it, my grandmother didn't seem buoyant, much less reluctant, when shooting with me. I remembered her just being in front of the camera in an unassuming way.
Maybe she was overlaying her time in front of the camera with my grandfather in their youth.

Generally, we usually try to distract our eyes from "life" and "death". We tend to uniquely think that death is a "sad event" or a "bad omen".
However, after my grandmother's death, I began to think about how I wanted to reduce the sense of distance about death and take a flatter view of it. Then I came to the conclusion that "life" and "death" are like a "circle" with no beginning and no end.

These photos are traces of them.

Kenta Nakamura