Minor tremors of the heart and under the ground
Moved, amused and just occasionally disturbed, in Japan.
by David Brown
A collection of anecdotes which mark ten years of annual excursions to Japan; just a few simple stories, moments in time, which the mystery of memory has decided in it's undisclosed fashion to "preserve" and embellish as opposed to forgetting. I had already completed the text intended for this book when came the terrible news of the huge earthquake and ensuing tsunami of March 11th 2011... With the point of reference shifted as far as the tectonic plates were off the coast of North eastern Japan, everything about this book seemed in tatters, from the cover and the already chosen title to the cute children who wave the book good-bye in the final spread. What to do? After contemplation, I realised that this semiotic shift would be the case for everyone. Projects far greater than my humble effort would be sent askew. All the anecdotes will simply read differently; the text and photos unavoidably providing a before for the disastrous after to come.
I live and work in central London in the UK. I make books in an attempt to outwit mediocrity and hope to share the results as an act of friendship. A book as a message in a bottle. PHOTO-BOOKS. The bringing together of words and images is something that has always had the power to move, amuse and/or annoy me profoundly. Some things I've realised: 1: A commentary which attempts to "explain" images usually robs images of their inherent ability to express beyond words. 2: Using images to illustrate prose usually robs prose of it's inherent ability to produce new images in the readers imagination. How does the humble amateur photo-book maker overcome the above?.... Taking a lead from my hero Chris Marker. I attempt to have images and commentary be separate entities, running parallel; sometimes close, sometimes far apart, behind or in front, and then occasionally coming together, meeting, crossing and then on their way again. Hopefully...with a poetic outcome.