by Keiichi Tahara
I wake up in the morning. Trying to get a cigarette, my hand crawls around the top of the night table. Feeling groggy I light up the cigarette. In an attempt to force my sleepy eyes open, I inhale smoke as much as I can. That is when the morning sunlight coming through the skylight appears as light itself for a brief moment. As I exhale smoke from my lungs, the light reverts to the sunlight along with the exhaled air, bringing the scene back to usual morning where the sunlight clings on the white wall.
I light up the second cigarette, telling myself I should get out of the bed before the sunlight reaches the door leading to the kitchen.
Having no outlet, cigarette smoke fills up the room already warmed by the sunlight. The sunlight highlights the drifting smoke, once again reminding me of the presence of light. I wonder what my schedule is today. Nothing much. Hearing pigeons chirping, I look up the skylight. I haven’t cleaned it for a good five years. Thick with dust, stained with rain and bird droppings, the skylight glass glitters in the sunlight. I can see white clouds floating in the blue sky through that striped pattern. Amid the clouds, the skylight and the smoke, my gaze loses focus and is melted into the close-to-noon morning light.
These are the photographs I took during the eight years of my stay in Paris from 1974 through 1981 at three places. Starting from an attic in Qualtier Latin, then an apartment in Place d’Italie and to another in Saint-Mandé, I kept photographing my window. My gaze moved from the scenery out of the window, to the window pane, and inside the room, reflecting my moods and emotions from day to day. My work is the result of those thoughts and gazes that have been recorded on the film and printed on the gelatins silver paper.
( Translated by Sachiko Ikushima )
Keiichi Tahara is a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan.
To view more of Keiichi Tahara's work, please visit his website.