by Mikio Hasui
The scenes I see through a viewfinder of Linhof 617 give me particular impressions as if they are fictitious images fairly different from those in real existence.
Why is it so? Is it because of the distortion caused by the lens of the viewfinder, or due to the vaguely wavering frame itself?
No, the answer is not something as mechanical as that.
I love seeing such vague scenes coming through the viewfinder. They are more symbolic, poetic and yet more real than the scenes in actual light.
In the picture projected to my eye, all the sounds that should be there strangely vanish; not a single sound is heard.
It takes somewhere between a mere few minutes to less than an hour, but during that time, I find myself immersed in an innocent blissfulness that is beyond description.
Then I print a piece of picture on the emulsion of a film. Such is the photographing of the series PEACE LAND to me, without any slightest exaggeration.
Sometimes, I am even under an illusion that the scene in light cut out in the ratio of 6 to 17, length to width, is not from an actual scene in reality.
Such uncertain existence perceived in the viewfinder is instantly transformed into certain existence on a film.
At that moment, I always encounter the sensation that can be described as a feeling of blissfulness.
To put it another way, it is the feeling of thankfulness for being there at that very moment and of awe and respect toward the scene in light.
It is also respect for my own life as well as for all living things.
There is no way of knowing where I, being a certain entity in existence, came from.
However, the one and only soul dwells inside my body and keeps searching for its direction even now.
My soul does not make a sound and remains unseen; and yet, it is soundly alive in real existence, that is, my photograph.
All the living things in this world, by the same token, exist under their respective souls.
The moment that I realize that notion repeats, leading me to appreciate the world; and furthermore, this makes me realize that the thing it signifies is love.
I earnestly wish all the living things, with their dignity, would stay equal under the grace of the light we live in.
Mikio Hasui is a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan.
To view more of Mikio Hasui's work, please visit his website.