When I stand under a cherry tree and look up at the blossoms, I always feel as if I’m floating. The blossoms continue beyond my field of vision, each shimmering so beautifully. It is impossible to see them all.
I’ve been photographing cherry blossoms (sakura) for 20 years, trying to capture and convey this experience. I use 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 inch film cameras to make large-format prints. I narrow the depth of field to a single point and let the foreground and background go out of focus.
In “Sakura,” the blossoms of the intersecting branches appear melded together as one, making it difficult to distinguish the foreground from the the background. My work is about the experience of time and vision. The beauty of the sakura lies in the brevity of their blossoming, so I must rush to photograph their brilliance and vitality. I photograph sakura not as the conventional symbol of Japanese beauty but as an expression of the presence of time.
– Risaku Suzuki -
About the artist
Born in 1963 in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, Risaku Suzuki currently lives and works in Tokyo.
The artist is known for his dedicated productions that capture scenes in Kumano, Wakayama Prefecture; one of Japan’s most holy places and also Suzuki’s hometown. One of Japan’s most prominent photographers, Suzuki presents quintessential Japanese subjects – in particular cherry blossoms, a subject he has published two books on - in a manner that is at once timeless and refreshingly new.
Suzuki has held exhibitions worldwide and has received many prizes, including the Kimura Ihei Award, the most renowned award in the field of photography in Japan.