LOCAL BUILDINGS

Japan has the concept of wabi sabi in art. As far as I understand, it incorporates a sense of ageing and decay in every form. After all, everything, including our bodies, is ephemeral. References to this can bring bring a certain depth to any experience. The beautiful cherry blossoms so celebrated here do not last for long before the wind releases their pinkly off-white petals and the rain washes them down the drain.

Towards the end of 2015 I decided to take pictures of local buildings. Some, such as Matsumoto castle, are beautifully preserved monuments. Other, more domestic Japanese structures, like doz┼Ź kura, have been well cared for and prove unusual subjects for the Western eye. Then there were the buildings that arrested my attention through their state of declineor abandonment. The fascination is that these buildings are not behaving themselves. They are not functioning as the architects and builders intended but have become something else. With the help of the weather, they have rearranged their components into unexpected shapes and textures. The unusual array that emerges can have appeal for photography and remind us of the transience of all things.

I soon found that my favoured square format film camera often did not offer the right proportions for the images I wanted to capture. Remaining with film, I added a 6 x 9 cm camera to my toolkit and this has become my first choice for pictures of buildings.