THE RESTORATION WILL ESSAY #2 BLUE PORTFOLIO BY MAYUMI SUZUKI
Reminders Photography Stronghold Gallery will be organizing the first exhibition of 2017, Mayumi Suzuki’s “The Restoration Will.” She is one of the 2016 Photobook As Object workshop participants and she has been working on her book project “The Restoration Will” almost a year since the workshop and finally it’ll be launched at the exhibition. Prior to the show, Mayumi is sharing a series of her essay.
Mayumi Suzuki’s exhibition
March 4th to 26th. Open Everyday 1 to 7pm at the Reminders Photography Stronghold gallery.
Opening reception and artist talk on March 11th at 6pm.
In 1994, for his private work, my father had taken portraits of ship carpenters who built a large antique style wooden ship, San Juan Bautista. He invited them to his photo studio each Sunday and asked them to wear their nicest suits. You know, ordinarily carpenters wear a uniform, but he wanted to give them a special moment and capture them as individuals with his photography. They each looked like a president or prime minister. Finally, when finished he had taken fifty portraits.
In 2004, My father had an exhibition “Craftsmen of the 20th century” in Ishinomaki. He and I were printing the portraits all day and night. These were 16×20 inch prints, quite large. He tried to print with fiber paper, but it was not easy to wash and dry and took a long time. So I recommended him to choose RC paper / multigrade/warm tone by Ilford. He looked so happy as we worked together. He might be proud of my graduation at photography college and this technique to print.
After the tsunami in 2011, all his works were gone. But somebody picked his portfolio up from the rubble. It was returned to me at the photo recovery center located next to the temporary shelters. When I saw it there “It had survived!“ My eyes were full of tears. “This might be his dying wish. I have to recover it as soon as possible”. It seemed difficult to wash and clean, these images were contaminated with mud, sand, oil and sea water.
There were two types of print in the portfolio (Fiber and RC). As a result, the RC prints were all fine to wash, they could be completely recovered because the surface is covered by plastic. Unfortunately, fiber prints were not able to survive, they were damaged and parts of the images were lost. From a different point of view, they now seemed like contemporary art.
English proofreading: Mike Ward
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