More than a year ago, my eldest daughter Lieve finished school. She was allowed to join me on a trip to anywhere she chose. And that is how we ended up in Japan. She had been infected by our passionate stories. In the end, it turned into a business trip and we had to visit dealers, manufacturers and other business partners. Lieve came to the conclusion that she found my work horrendous. All of that grief over an eyeglass frame was completely ridiculous when there were so many glasses already out there. She discovered though, almost against her will, that she did enjoy the business aspect of it, especially the meetings. Afterwards, other than eating extremely well, we mainly took long walks around Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo for days on end. I’m sure I lost a ton of weight.
On one of our expeditions, we came across the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, which is where we saw the light, Tokihiro Sato’s light. His stunningly captivating landscapes of light emerge like sculptures. Tokihiro does not simply take photos, he creates photographs. He constructs visual compositions that transform into photographs through the physical influence of light. When I heard that Tokihiro was originally a sculptor, I immediately understood that his photos were sculptures as well. He not only created the works, but the photographer can also be found present inside of them. He is the one swimming in the sea reflecting light into the camera with a mirror, or running through the forest transforming it into a fairy tale forest. These are the traces of an artist, the man in the landscape, a theme as old as Rome.
Lieve was also completely overwhelmed by his work. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen, other than a real fairy tale forest, that is. And when we got back and shared our stories, Merel was able to make the impossible, possible and arranged for Tokihiro to return to Europe with his work for the first time in many years. The opening is this Sunday and Tokihiro Sato will be there in person!