I am an atheist or have no religion. And I am a creator of “Landscapes with a Corpse”, the series which deals with the theme of death, for 15 years. I did not have a clear intention in choosing death as a theme at first. I do not enjoy looking at the real corpse and I did not know if the established theory of “Japanese idealize death” is true. However what I became conscious about in the course of continuing “Landscapes with a Corpse” project is that I am afraid of dying very much.
I do not think anybody would deny that it is only natural for us all to be afraid of dying but then how do we overcome this fear? Seeking for a way to get away from the fear through this project, I came to realize many people did so by believing a religion, relying upon their belief to live.
It is more than ten years ago when I visited a German town, Weimar. I decided to see my friend who is a professional ballet dancer performing in the town. I stayed at a hotel in the outskirts of a small suburban town in Weimar. I went out for a walk the next day. One step out of the hotel, there was a wild bush so abundantly green and a big pond. I felt like I was in a paradise drawn in paintings; the gradation of different shades of green made by the sunshine and the sound of those leaves touching each other was resonant with the echoing beautiful songs of birds.
It was after a little while when I remembered where I stood was a part of the former East Germany until only a few years ago. I had an image of the countries in the east side during the Cold War, to be covered with heavy clouds but that broke down in my mind as if crashed by a hummer. I have clearly felt that the Sun is an existence that shines just equally in anywhere on earth, to anybody without any prejudice. Of course, the Sun shines equally not only onto Germany divided into the west and the east, but also onto the South and the North Korea, India and Pakistan as well as many countries in the middle of war and conflicts, without taking sides even though there is only one Sun in universe. When I recalled such experience in Weimar, I got overwhelmed by the greatness of the Sun and I came to wish to make it the object to clasp my hands together.
One day, after a several years that I kept thinking about the Sun, searching for the way to sublime the theme into an art piece, I thought of recording the path of the Sun. I decided to use the fish-eye lenses to completely capture the trace of the Sun from its sunrise to the sunset. The various traces appear in various area within the round frame seem the same but all different, different but all made by one and only Sun.
I can only pray that by presenting this image in various places in the world, we realize the smallness of ourselves, on this earth, equally blessed by the Sun and live hand in hand together, without any conflicts.