Japan has suffered unbearably in the past few days in this terrible cascade of tragedy (earthquake, tsunami, radiation.) Too much has happened. It is hard for me to wade through the continuous stream of images, to experience the constant replay on television, without feeling overwhelmed.
Today I’ve been thinking of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Seascape photos.
Sugimoto traveled around the world for thirty years, photographing tranquil scenes of the sea and its horizon. These are non-event images and I want to hold them out as a wish for calm and clarity. A memory of a different Pacific Ocean—tranquil and less-toxic.
“Water and air. So very commonplace are these substances, they hardly attract attention―and yet they vouchsafe our very existence…Mystery of mysteries, water and air are right there before us in the sea. Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a voyage of seeing.” —Hiroshi Sugimoto, 1994
Water and air…The world has seen too many disastrous happenings over the past decade. Here’s my wish for a (non-nuclear and sustainable) future where we no longer aggravate disaster by taking unacceptable risks.