An Interview With Ishiuchi Miyako

I watched an interview with a Japanese photographer, Ishiuchi Miyako before heading to tennis on Sunday morning. It really struck a chord with me. I watched it twice before heading out. Here are some thoughts of the video.

  • She started in photography by accident. A friend stored film developing equipment in her parents house and she decided to give it a shot because she felt it was a waste to not use the equipment. The English subtitles struck a chord with me -“if you don’t use it, it becomes a waste”
  • The documentary focused on her photography projects. The projects were simple but yet so profound. For example, photographing hands and feet of 40 year olds to document her 40th birthday and photographing her recently deceased mother’s belongings to begin a reconciliation process.
  • Things left behind by the dead were important to them but they are garbage to others. It makes me think, is the attachment I have to certain things worth my time? It is not so much as what others think of the things I have but rather if I were to hold on to something, let it be really be useful and meaningful
  • Photography is one more chance to see the past more meaningfully.

Author: Jason Phang

Hailing from Humid Singapore, I’ve been calling Auckland, New Zealand home since 2005. I love making photographs and I generally veer towards street photography.

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