TABULA RASA, series, gelatin-silver paper, 40 cm × 40 cm each, framed, 2019/2020, Installation views at galerie internshop Leipzig, 2021

SACRED TREES series, Silbergelatine/Barytprints, 50 cm × 50 cm each, framed, 2023

Sacred trees in Japanese gardens

In spring 2023, I spent nine weeks in Japan. With my Hasselblad in my luggage, I visited various Japanese gardens. The most famous gardens I visited in Kyoto, among others, were often crowded by Japanese and foreign people. Photography became a real challenge and was often impossible. Nevertheless, I get back with some photographs and a deep desire to come back as soon as possible. I was fascinated by the often old and gigantic trees and the respect that is shown to them. While walking through Japanese gardens, I saw a lot of trees that were underpinned by large wooden pillars. The image of wooden pillars was often more prominent than the tree itself.

I was really astonished by these kinds of construction, which I’ve never seen before. So, I started photographing some of these trees. The wooden pillars seem to me to be an homage to the trees as part of our cosmos. I've seen a lot of old trees, ones that have fallen apart, ones that survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima, all of them dressed up like wounds to stay alive. I remember that in Shintoism, people believe that nature is sacred and that Kami lives in things like waterfalls, rocks, mountains, and trees. The Kami are best understood as ‘spirit things’ that occupy all worldly objects. These sacred trees are a manifestation of the idea of Shintoism.

VULNERABLE, 2020, series of 14 gelatin-silver papers, (Orwo Dokumentenpapier),21 cm × 14,8 cm each

SACRED TREES, series of fine art inkjet prints, different sizes, 2023, world in a room in Nußdorf, Landau

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