Author(s): Keiichi Tahara
Everything I perceived, saw and felt was utterly new. There was a quivering field of light, completely different from what I had become accustomed to in Japan. It was the July of 1971 when I finally settled down after the initial excitement of having arrived in Paris. I had regained the calmness to observe. The sky was a shade of teal, something connected to the pitch black of outer space. Arrows of light pierced the dry air, approaching stone buildings. Vicious waves of light. An entire universe I had never seen, much less felt, read about or imagined before. Particles of light jumped into my eyes. I was surprised to learn first hand that light is, in fact, made of particles. It felt as if I could grasp it in my hands. This was when my journey into the world of light started. A myriad of visual childhood memories suddenly made sense under the concept of light. I had discovered my place in the world. The narrative of 1973 started in the loft of a seven story building, no elevator, in the Parisian student district of Quartier Latin. The best medium to capture light is film. The best medium to express it is photo paper. Days and nights I spent roaming the streets of Paris and London with my camera. Later, when I held an exhibition in Tokyo, this is what the designer Shiro Kuramata wrote on his introduction: Keiichi Tahara releases the shutter twice. Once when he takes the photo, once when he develops the film.