Rasen Kaigan / Album.
Photographs by Lieko Shiga.
280 pp., 186 color illustrations, 10¼x14¼".
Living in Kitakama, Shiga worked as the resident photographer, documenting festivals and other official events while also recording an oral history of the region. Shiga created each work as though her photography were inseparable from her own body as if inhaling Kitakama's air as deeply as possible and then slowly, quietly breathing it out. This was not meant as a conceptual expression of Kitakama's character and individuality, but to reveal traces of physical activities connected with the land. Therefore, what one sees in Shiga's works is not an auteur's 'answer' to telling the stories of Kitakama, but the revelation of Shiga's ongoing engagement with the larger questions she asks herself: What is the nature of photography as a medium? And what is the nature of living and expressing oneself on land? Perhaps these questions speak clearly to our society and its many problems.
Read Blake Andrews' review of Rasen Kaigan / Album on photo-eye Blog.