Miho Kajioka, And where did the peackocks go? , 2014
Miho Kajioka was born in Okayama, Japan; at 18 years old she moved to California, where she studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, beginning as a painting major, but little by little she turned to photography. After a fine arts degree at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada she returned to Japan and became a journalist, producing TV news and documentary programs for foreign news outlets. “It was Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami that reconnected me to photography. Two months after the disaster, while reporting in the coastal city of Kamaishi, where over 800 people died, I found roses blooming beside a blasted building. That mixture of grace and ruin made me think of a Japanese poem: In the spring, cherry blossoms, In the summer the cuckoo, In autumn the moon, and in Winter the snow, clear, cold.
Written by the Zen monk Dogen, the poem describes the fleeting, fragile beauty of the changin seasons. The roses I saw in Kamaishi bloomed simply because it was spring. That beautiful and uncomplicated statement, made by roses in the midst of ruin, impressed me, and returned me to photography.”
Her photographic work grew out of a drawing practice, echoing photography’s literal etymology as a way of drawing with light. She still finds the process of watching images appear from the developing bath magical, in tune with her philosophy of honouring the imperfection as well as the innate essence of things. The empty spaces in her carefully exposed, toned and hand-finished silver gelatin prints are as important as the subjects that emerge from the delicate surfaces. Her aesthetic reveals the prevailing paradoxes between the factual and the unknown, the visible and the invisible, evoking a particular style of melancholic beauty and inviting the viewer to complete the picture through their own mind’s eye view.
A research group caught butterflies in Fukushima and found out 12 % of them had abnormalities
and the rate of the 2nd generation is much higher even worse in the 3rd generation.