the big day
Yesterday was the the big day for the festival. It started off with my co-exhibitor, George Hashiguchi, and I being interviewed for local tv at our exhibition. George is a soft spoken die hard documentarian who has spent years doing portraits around the world. He has done a huge series on Japanese teenagers, including portraits of some of them 10 years on. A man with a quiet sense of humor and ‘dead pan’ eye is the only way I can describe it. I get to do my little song and dance too for the tv:meanwhile Akutagawa-san (Jin) does some documentary work:while the actress Akiko-san is taking in George’s portraits.. In the evening there is a big do: George has been getting his presentation straight for about four hours in the afternoon (something on his powerpoint program messed up) plus rehearsals. A 7:35 I go on stage and deliver my long and windy speech about the philosophy of why I take pictures: zzzzzzzzzz. I have cruelly interspersed my speech with home made idioms that has my poor translator in knots – she is very concerned to get the exact meaning across. Everybody is polite and claps. What follows is fun, the composer Mera-san created a piano and recorder piece, kind of Japanese-Balinese Zenish-piano drama to go with a slide show of the Bali work that I am showing. It is really touching, and for 20 minutes I look at my pictures in a different way. Although it is nothing like gamelan music which was the background sound when I was shooting the images, there is no disconnect – it is all rather sweet actually. Then George shows his 45 minute “stills movie” including a series of portraits of teenagers in different parts of Japan, each one shown ten years later. very interesting. The subjects short monologues are read by Akiko-san, who has a wonderful voice and a great sense of timing that seems to work so well in Japanese, which always sounds to me like premeditated hesitation followed by short bursts of highly concentrated content. Even though I didn’t understand a word (some of it was translated by Naomi-san, my translator but I decided it was disturbing other viewers) it was kind of other worldly. I hope to get some pics of the evening from some of the photogs, will post them later. Of course the evening ended with a late second dinner. tons of food. Got up this morning and went for a walk in my favourite district, the entertainment district of Miyazaki. Post-revelry atmosphere, bar workers going home, maybe I will post some later. Gotta run to breakfast.