WALKING SERIES

 DURING THE  SUMMER OF  2014, FEELING LOST AND DISSATISFIED WITH THE VALUES OF MY PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK, I GATHERED UP MY INSUBSTANTIAL STUDENT SAVINGS AND BOARDED A PLANE TO JAPAN. HOPING THAT THROUGH THE LOSS OF ALL THE MATERIALISTIC ATTACHMENTS I DEVELOPED BY LIVING IN LONDON, I WOULD FIND MYSELF SHOCKED INTO A SENSE OF CLARITY, FROM WHERE I STOOD BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY.


BUT I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS GETTING INTO AND SOMETHING VERY UNEXPECTED HAPPENED TO ME UPON MY ARRIVAL.

 

SHORT AFTER MY LANDING AT NARITA AIRPORT, I WAS DOCUMENTED ON A JAPANESE TV PROGRAM CALLED “WHY DID YOU COME TO JAPAN??”, WHICH BASICALLY CONSIST ON FILMING RANDOM TOURIST AT THE AIRPORT AND INTERVIEW THEM ABOUT THEIR FUTURE PLANS IN JAPAN. IF THEY FIND THEMSELVES INTERESTED ON THE TOURIST THEY ASK THEM IF THEY COULD FOLLOW THEM AND DOCUMENT THEIR JOURNEY. SO THEY OFFERED TO ME, I ACCEPTED, AND THEY DOCUMENTED THE FIRST 4 WEEKS OF MY 6 WEEK JOURNEY.

 

MY TRAVELS IN JAPAN FELT LIKE AN OASIS WITHIN WHICH I COULD WANDER AIMLESSLY. WITH A SPECIAL FOCUS ON ITS COUNTRYSIDE, I DID NOT WANT ANYTHING BESIDES NATURE, A TENT, AND MY CAMERA. ENCOUNTERS WITH  THE LOCALS TURNED OUT TO RELY LESS ON CONVERSATION, BUT INSTEAD ON THE UNIVERSAL REALITY OF EXISTING AS HUMAN BEINGS.

 

AS I KEPT A DISTANCE FROM MY SPECIFIC CULTURAL HERITAGE AND VERBAL LINGUISTICS, I BEGAN TO REBUILD MYSELF UPON WHAT IS RAW. ‘I’ BECAME ‘US’. REFLECTING DEEPLY ON THE COMPLEXITY OF HUMAN EXISTENCE, I UNDERSTOOD THE DIVERSION FACTOR THAT IS DETERMINED BY EXPERIENCE, ALTHOUGH WE ARE ALL SEARCHING FOR SIMILAR QUALITIES OF LOVE, COMPASSION, AND UNITY.

 

AFTER I CAME BACK TO LONDON FROM JAPAN, THE DOCUMENTARY WAS RELEASED IN TV TOKYO, AND THE REACTION OF JAPANESE AUDIENCE TOWARDS MY JOURNEY AND PHOTOGRAPHY WAS SURPRISINGLY IMMENSELY POSITIVE, WHICH MADE ME EXPERIENCED FOR THE FIRST TIME HOW TRULY POWERFUL PHOTOGRAPHY IS WHEN YOU DEEPLY IMPACT THE EMOTIONS OF VIEWERS.

 

THIS LED ME TO A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF MY PURPOSE AS AN ARTIST, WHICH SINCE THEN, HAS GROWN IMMENSELY AS THE NEED TO KEEP PRODUCING WORK THAT EVOKES A DEEPER CONNECTION WITH THE VIEWER

 

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© 2019 JOSE MONTEMAYOR ALBA

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