This is the story of the singular people who gather at the lotus pond in Tokyo.
One day an old man in a plain suit sat next to me by a pond in a park. He began to put powder on his face and changed into a woman’s kimono. He started dancing to the Japanese ballad that came over his radio, smiling all over his face. He told me that he was a master of Japanese dancing, that he was a homosexual, and that he had cancer. Another day, I met an old millionaire in underwear who rode a rickety bicycle, and yet another day, I met a devilish-looking man who in fact was a mammy’s boy. The pond is a wide lotus pond called Shinobazunoike. As I went there more often, I met more people like them. Before long, I began to take photographs of them and listen more to their stories.
There is something about the people I met at the pond that peculiarly attracts me, something more than just how they look, just what they say about themselves. It is as if they had a kind of magnetic power, unseen and quiet, further attracting those who take a close look at them.
I go to the pond often and share time with the people. Each subject has his or her own background and character so unique that no stereotype can define them. It is as if all sorts of mutually-conflicting and complex human characters – vigor and weakness, harshness and gentleness, beauty and ugliness, and so forth – all reveal themselves as they are in each person, and quietly create a magnetic power of his or her own.
April 14, 2014
The Hijab, a headscarf worn by Muslim women in the presence of men they are not closely related to, divides opinion both in Muslim countries and in secular countries which Muslims call home. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, where Shia Islam has become the very raison d’être of the current state following the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the wearing of an approved form of head covering for women is relatively strictly enforced, regardless of the level of religious observance a woman may adhere to at home. So called Basij, or members of the ‘Organization for Mobilization of the Oppressed’, a volunteer citizens militia, roam the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities, monitoring religious observance and clamping down on such illegal activities as fraternising between unmarried couples and the ownership of satellite dishes.
Improper dress code, including insufficient coverage of head, shoulders and chest of women in public is officially illegal and can incur arrest and heavy fines. Though Iran’s new president, Hasan Rohani, who is seen by many as a moderate and a reformer, has said publicly that guidance on women’s dress code should be encouraged through education rather than enforced by the police, secular Iranian women continue to face censure for insufficiently modest dress. Hossein Fatemi met 20 women, some of whom wear the Hijab voluntarily, and photographed them through their veils, giving a rare insight into the private spheres of Iranian women, many of whom are not allowed to appear in public how they want to.
April 13, 2014
Portraits - Good Drugs Gone Bad
A series of portraits from my long term projects “Death for 50 Rupees” and “Phas Gaya - Being Stuck” which focus on the issue of generic pharmaceutical drug abuse in India.
April 9, 2014
Jess T. Dugan
6. Julian Anton
April 4, 2014
April 4, 2014
April 4, 2014
Addie Card - Spinner at Pormal Cotton Mill