浅草善哉 Asakusa Zenzai

2003-2008

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2003年、浅草の三社祭で偶然出会った老夫婦。善さん、はなさん。いつしか二人が暮らす下町の長屋へ通うようになり、その日常を六年間にわたって写真に綴りました。二人のもとを訪れるたび、言葉にできない、でも大切な何かがはっきりとそこにあるのを感じました。その大切な何かを残したい。その一心から浅草へ向かいました。
コップ酒の気分で二人の奥の奥にズンズン沈みこんでいくと、浅草という表層がパラパラと剥がれ、そこはどこだっていいような気がしました。落語を思わせる善さんの口上と表情、はなさんの飄々とした雰囲気。その場が放つ独特の存在感は、訪れるたびに畏れの入り混じった悦びと、心に救いを与えてくれました。

二度とない瞬間をともにし、私を受け入れて下さった善さんはなさんへ、心より感謝いたします。写真以上の言葉を私は持ちません。誰もが観ることを通じて、見えない何かを感じて頂ければ幸せです。

2011年12月 古賀絵里子
In 2003, I have met an old couple at the ‘Sanja Festival’ in Asakusa. For six years, I have visited their row house and took photos of their ordinary life. Every time I faced the space, I felt the existence of something important which I couldn’t explain in words. There, it was as if the time had separated itself from the present. I felt that I must somehow give it a concrete image which if not, will be lost and forgotten forever. Thereafter, I devoted myself to take photographs of them.
Buoyed by that cheap ‘one-cup’ rice wine, I immersed myself deeper and deeper into their lives, and the surface layer that was Asakusa, with all its ancient nuance and connotation, was peeled flaking away. I came to feel it could have been anywhere for all I cared. Zen san’s jocular, rakugo-like prose and expressions, Hana san’s easygoing ambience. The unique presence of these situations provided me a form of fear-tinged joy, a form of rescue.

I thank Hana and Zen for accepting me and spending the irreplaceable time together. I have no other words than the language of the photograph. I would be happy if people would feel something important which is invisible by these photographs.

Eriko Koga December 2011

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