When I say I, a boundary appears around me without any specific shape. As soon as I say you, a boundary appears between you and me, whether it’s good or not. When I point my camera at the world, I become aware that the world is full of boundaries. Some are visible; others are invisible.
Boundaries divide the world into innumerable fragments, and also separate the unknown future from the past and the present. Japan has been in the long “postwar days” for more than 70 years as a defeated nation. This situation seemed to be almost eternal, but I feel it is now on the way out, in spite of the apparent peace. “Postwar” could be another name for “prewar” as history suggests.
The pictures of this book were taken mainly in Tokyo, the city of zero degrees. Isolation, fatigue, corrosion, and some kind of implicit control… It looks freezing even in the heat of midsummer. “Zero degrees” also connotes some invisible critical point. Nothing good or bad is happening at the moment, but this boundary is full of potential for change. Sometimes it can be the takeoff for communication and mutual understanding, and sometimes the ignition point of rejection or conflict. The boundary is like the opening sentence of a story. Nobody knows whether it will lead to a happy or tragic ending. (By Toru Ukai)