There are certain episodes and random happenstances in our daily existence that suddenly hit our perception or recognition of a memory held together by fragmented scenes. How does one photograph these recollections?
Ryo Kurihara successfully accomplishes the feat, as he puts up a retrospective of memories and familiar scenes from his youth in his 2014 photozine UZUME. Printed on an A5 size white paper, the photographs don’t seem to make any sense and connection while the layout appears to have been randomly arranged at first look.
However, as I countlessly go back and forth in between pages looking at the photos and studying its significance, I began to feel the weight of each image as it slowly resonates and transforms into something that’s strangely familiar to me.
Ryo’s images are mundane – a vacant lot, a cat on the side street, windows with flowers and one landscape photo, which I would assume is still a part of a neighborhood or city, among others. It doesn’t necessarily mean that these are the actual elements or places that the photographer experienced. It could be his reality superimposed on everyday events, with the subjects acting as references to personal memories.
What struck me most are the centerfold images of a canopy and a child’s abstract drawing of a girl on a pavement. Both images are strong and intimate, accompanied by the rest of the photographs, which were arranged based on resonance.
UZUME hooks on familiarity that does not intend to become important. The arrangement and intensity of each photo builds a climactic collection that is utterly personal and heavily rooted in our surroundings. What I like about Ryo Kurihara’s work in this project is its naivety and control to let the viewer find a way on how to make sense of his intention.