Tenderness which Looks Austere

I went to the Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum in Nara City. I had never seen his works. But when I ran a keyword search of Nara, his name came up a lot, so I was interested in it.

The first time I tried to go to there, it was at the end of 2018. I got lost and instead of going there, I found a nice cake shop. I had a good time in that cafe and on the way back home I found out that it had already closed for the year. So maybe I was lucky. It is a bit far from Nara station and it takes around two hours from my house. So for the second time, I also failed to reach there before it closed. And instead of going there, I found a nice bakery. Again, I was lucky.

For the third time, I finally got there. It is located in a neat housing estate. Third time is the charm ! It was blended in with the surrounding houses. I was surprised at it. Once inside, I started to appreciate his works. All of his photos were impressive. Immediately, my heart was stunned into silence by their beauty.

Because time was appreciated in all his photos every moment was precious and transitory. He never focused on something dramatic. His photos were filled with sincerity, cleanliness and drama-free sensitivity. He surrendered to viewers how they find some kind of drama. In his photos, dignity of all the subjects were guarded. It made my breath deeper and made me feel spacious. His style was brisk, crisp and invigorating to me.

His subjects were not unique. I thought if I were him, I would never have chosen such ordinary things. But those ordinary things were given a seat by him. So all the subjects were clearly there because he appreciated presence. His photos were austere. At the same time, that austerity drew a clear line to tenderness which he embodied. Ambivalence was intergated into his photos. The time I spent in this museum adjusted my posture and helped to bring tenderness back into my life.