Harvest from the series New Memories
by Hiroyo Kaneko

I was born in Aomori in northern Japan. My family moved when I was 10 and I have been living in the United States for the past 10 years. To this day however, I continue to frequently recall scenes from my hometown and in 2007, I started to return there yearly. Aomori has become the backdrop for many of my creative projects either imaginarily or physically. This part of Japan has a clear and soft light that gives images a luminous quality. Aomori is regarded as one of the poorest outlying regions in the country, but its nature is incredibly rich and well-respected.

My ongoing project, New Memories, tries to capture the ethereal attribute of daily activities related to nature in Aomori such as picnics under the cherry blossoms, apple cropping, and snow shoveling. These activities, I believe, represent the energy of living that evolves with a subtle sense of hope.

Every time I return to the area and photograph the scenes I encounter, new memories pile up on the old ones that have accumulated in my mind. These images are composed of layers of memories which are now a mixture of fantasy and reality. They await to gain their own presence in front of viewers from different places.

As a Japanese-born artist living in the United States, I think that I can offer a fresh perspective of this specific culture. My perspective and location may allow a cross-cultivation of cultural experience that is sensitive to the subject. As natural and man-made disasters are hitting the home that has continually inspired my photography, I am compelled to enter a new stage of creation in my work with a desire for a world without nuclear power.

Hiroyo Kaneko is a photographer based in San Francisco, California, USA.
To view more of Hiroyo Kaneko's work, please visit her website.

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