Little is left of traditional Japanese culture according to Taichi Gondaira (Japan,1956). In his view, modern Japan has westernised. ‘Traditional cultures have nearly been forgotten. Not only is the Japanese lifestyle in danger, but the traditional spirit is also becoming lost.’
The Wasoreijin, sophisticated women wearing brilliant kimono’s, have almost disappeared from the streets. Gondaira wants to capture this specific part of Japanese culture. He photographs women and sometimes children in their traditional harido, the way they wear their kimono. It is the height of the classical Japanese beauty ideal as depicted in the traditional ‘Ukiyo-e’, the centuries-long tradition of woodblock prints made by masters such as Hokusai, Hiroshige and Kuniyoshi.
Gondaira’s prints are as pure as possible. He deploys platinum plates and prints his photos on the vulnerable washi paper.
Gondaira's work mounted on traditional scrolls was exhibited at the International Photo Festival BredaPhoto in 2014.
(Source: ‘Songs from the Heart’, catalogue of BredaPhoto 2014)