When I landed in Tokyo on the 11th of June this year for the 4th time, alone in the past 12 months, there was never a shadow of doubt what I was doing there, or why I chose to go back to this by now familiar yet still foreign bustling metropolis. Tokyo was by now, a second home, a hide out from the mundane beat of life back home in tropical Singapore, a city of refuge which encompasses so many of what was familiar yet delivering the foreign and new experiences time and time again, a city waiting to surprise you the moment you feel you’re one with it.
But the story of my multiple solo trips to Tokyo really began in April of 2012, at time when I was still reeling from a personal setback in my life, and wanting to get away, to be alone from the crowds and to discover myself once again. Without an inkling of what I would do in Japan, without a plan or direction, I bought a ticket to Japan a week and a half before the date of departure. The only thing I knew I wanted to do was to get away. And make pictures, and in doing so, hopeful that I can find some comfort in doing so.
I’ve posted a few posts about Tokyo before, one on the 1-year anniversary of this blog last year (and as you can tell from the date, we are now 2 years old!!!!), one of the crossroads of Shibuya, one on street photography in Japan, and one of Tokyo Dreaming, the exhibition of my work in Tokyo that took place for 2 months from December of 2012 to the January of 2013.
But this post is different – it signals the beginning of a new phase in my blog – a new design allowing larger pictures to be shown promises a better picture viewing experience for you the viewer, and a new layout that is cleaner and easier to navigate. More importantly, it marks a new beginning of my life – a spring which began one year ago in April of 2012 and whose seeds have now weathered the tumultuous events of the past 2 years and are now bearing flowers.
Japan is no longer just a hideout – it has turned into an obsession, a haven where I go often to find pictures, inspiration; a place where my long term project is now centered. As an aside, the new blog also marks the phase of my life where I now photograph full time, no longer being able to depend on the stability of a full time job.
For the first time in this blog, I’m bringing together the culmination of 4 personal trips to Tokyo over the past one year into a series of posts showing the breath and depth of my work in Tokyo – not that it is exhausted by any means and I’m consolidating them, but more of a presentation of a work in progress.
I hope to make further forays into the land of the rising sun, documenting the country, the streets and the life of a people that has been so much tragedy, been through so much sadness, and yet still stand proud and strong.
As Japan heals from the many horrific disasters it has weathered, so too will I continue to find healing in these trips.
This is part 1 of Tokyo Dreaming, the complete series.