Zooms CP+ Yokohama 2017 winners

 ZOOMS Japan 2017 Editors’ Award

Noriko Yamada: emission

The inspiration for this work came from my mother with whom I was unable to communicate at the time.
Remembering my mother crying and developing an image of that was what motivated me.
There are times in people’s lives where I believe living can be very difficult for anyone.   
My mother made me feel that strongly. 
The form of my crying mother was quiet, defenseless. Yet, within her I saw something. Something like the remnants of a spark of life that had burned in her heart, and was now quietly yet intensely radiating into the air of this world.  
I looked at a plant I had unintentionally photographed in the evening, and I felt there was a quiet, defenseless aura around it similar to what I had seen with my mother.
Additionally, I took a picture of a woman projecting such an image.
The grains of light depicted in this work were made by manually poking holes in the photographic print itself.
I believe I escaped from the reality of not being able to face my mother through the time and process of opening the tiny holes in each print. However, the time spent doing this also made my feelings toward my mother stronger.
After completing this work, I began copying photographs of my mother when she was younger and of my mother and me when I was very young.
I believe there is a desire within me to make something that feels like it is based on a thing called a photograph.
Because, occasionally, there are times that make you feel like whatever you see projected in a photograph.
While working on that creation I decided to face my mother directly, we exchanged words via a notebook, and continued to communicate through photographs, resulting in a book. 
After that I expanded the theme of my work from “mother” to “family, and am still in the process of creating works.
This work is a work that represents the seeds of my feelings toward my mother. 

An intriguing photograph clad in grains of light

Tiny particles, like grains of light, are released from flowers and the eyes, mouth, and nose of a person. What exactly are these? The more one looks for the answer, the deeper the mystery gets.  

The title of this work is “emission,” which means a discharge or release of something like light or heat. The artist’s intent is as she has written. Purposely, she poked holes in the photos, which could have been left in a state of completion the instant they were taken. Each grain of light represents time spent by the artist, and all those small countless holes are surely entrusted with the hopes and feelings the artist could not convey to her mother in words. However, even without enquiring about the artist’s intent, by combining the ten photos, which include shots of various flowers glittering in the dark before one’s eyes, and portrait photos wherein it is as if the subject is breathing out bubbles of light underwater, one can feel a powerful force within. I feel as if the viewer is being asked, “What do you think this really is?”       

The bold decision to go beyond what can be depicted with a camera alone, and compellingly choosing an unruly method pleasantly surprises. In an era of taking photographs, the author has taken on the challenge of new and innovative expression. I looking forward to seeing more works represented by this bold attitude in the future. 

Noriko Yamada

  • Born in 1993, graduated from the Nagoya University of Arts and Sciences
  • Resides in Aichi prefecture
  • She creates works primarily based on photographs

Nahoko Ando
Editor-in-Chief, Phat PHOTO

 ZOOMS JAPAN 2017 Public Award

Hisaya Katagami : A day with umbrellas


I tried composing shots of people holding umbrellas or scenes with umbrellas in the shot.

In the course of taking snapshots, I first considered what is something that is characteristic of Japan? The item that came to mind was an umbrella. While it is now becoming difficult to take snapshots, by using an umbrella as an accent point in a shot, a scene that was empty suddenly had focus. That is what I was aiming at with these photos.   

Moist-laden air on a rainy day and flat light bring forth an image of Japan, and I believe an opened umbrella strengthens that image. Normally umbrellas are a burdensome item, however, when it rains, their usefulness is apparent. The way umbrellas are held and used reveals individual personalities, and this is what I have captured in these pictures. Each photo in “A day with umbrellas” tells its own story and completes the compilation as a whole. The story each viewer sees is limited only to their imagination, and I hope people will let their imaginations run free when looking at this compilation.  


The charm and allure of “white photographs”

The idea to use an umbrella to portray an image of Japan, and the ability to frame this across a variety of settings including nightscapes, street scenes, and scenic spots while also considering the seasons, is concise and clear. However, several “white photos” also readily and surprisingly surpass the carefully laid intentions of the photographer. Additionally, the shot of the bridge, which is worthy of being called a masterpiece, and the carefully and tastefully depicted nightscape release a kind of charm and fascination that can only be captured with photographs, making you feel that the umbrellas are perhaps not really needed at all. With a sense of nostalgia and déjà vu the scenes evoke a feeling that one has come across them before at some time and place earlier in life, pleasing drawing one in for a closer look. Sun showers? Daydreams? It is difficult to describe these photos using simple expressions such as these that initially come to mind. There is coldness and warmth, dampness and dryness, one can feel such paradoxes melting together within these photographs.            

Looking at this work, one is compelled to travel far back in their past and think, “What was I doing on a day just like that...?”

Hisaya Katagami

  • Born and currently resides in Hiroshima
  • While working as a commercial photographer in Hiroshima, he creates snapshot-focused works
  • Prizewinner at the 2nd World Travel Photo Exhibition held in 2015 


Toshiaki Maeda
Editor-in-Chief, Japan Camera