「Parallel Leaves」は、偶然落ちてきた葉を意志を持って並べる行為の名前である。子供はその葉を並べて遊び、お面や船や笛を創る。葉の扱い方はそれぞれの童心に委ねるが、私も写真に撮って集めてきたものを、分けて、並べて、名前をつけて、遊んでいるのだ。これはどうにも赤面するくらい趣向的な分別が心地いい。「これとこれは一緒」「これとこれを組み合わす」。細切れに落ちてきたものを並べてみることは、写真の醍醐味だが、より童心的なものとして、落ち葉がよかったのだ。



One of the things that I like about photography is the ability to collect. There are lots of people who collect physical things that others make, like music or stories in the form of records or printed material, but with photos it’s possible to take home a moment or place that doesn’t have a physical form. I usually carry a camera with me when I go out. This camera is one I received from my father. It’s small and easy to use, and allows me to take photos, however blurry they may be, without hesitation. It’s cheap in the best sense of the word. When I look back over the photos that I’ve taken with this camera, I’m surprised by how often I’m drawn to natural subjects.

Why is my gaze inevitably drawn to natural subjects? As I look over these photos and think about nature and collecting, I arrive at an understanding of my childhood experience with nature. I remember grasshoppers and crickets that would jump from the fields as I ran through them. I remember the scent of soil when I pulled weeds, brown headed thrushes, and sawa crabs at the bottom of a clear stream. I remember the sky seen from the top of a pine tree, and the camellia petals at my feet after I’d sucked the nectar from them. Through photography, I am able to “collect” nature. This act is a remnant of a childhood desire and leads me to compare my photographs to the leaves I used to collect.

The title “Parallel Leaves” references the act of intentionally arranging leaves that have fallen by chance. Children use these leaves as masks, or boats, or flutes, and make a game out of arranging them. Of course, every child has their own way of engaging with leaves, but in my case, the way I interacted with them when I was young is similar to the way I gather the photos I’ve taken and play with them by dividing them, arranging them, and giving them names. It’s almost embarrassing to admit how much pleasure I take from sorting photos in this way. “This and this are the same,” “These ones go together.” This arrangement of fallen pieces is where the true joy of photography lies, even though sorting fallen leaves captured my more childish desires.

Taking things that have been frozen in film and arranging them, giving them names, like creating a modest book of psalms, is reminiscent of my gaze as a young boy. It’s like awakening the child who sleeps somewhere within myself.