Yu-ki Abe 阿部 祐己


Trace of Fog

limited edition 700 copies
80 pages,
44 color plates
hardcover ; silk printing on cloth, embossed
text ; Japanese and English
book design ; Junko Ogawa
size ; 228mm x 254mm x 14mm

roshin books 2018
ISBN 978-4-9907230-9-5
release date ; June 2018

price : 4,860 JPY

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”霧ヶ峰は名前の由来通り、しばしば濃い霧が立ち込める山だ。霧に覆われると境目が消え、どこまでも先に続いているような錯覚を覚えた”(後書きより)

 年間200日以上も霧が発生するという霧ヶ峰は、石器時代の古来より人が生活を営んできた場所である。それから後の中世鎌倉時代には武士が五穀豊穣を願い流鏑馬(やぶさめ)などの様々な神事を行った場所でもある。現代の今にもそれら神事は引き継がれている。

 作家は過去の歴史から残る痕跡と現代の人の営みを、定点観測のような視点で写し続けた。過去から現在、現在から未来、我々はその現在のほんの短い瞬間に生きていると同時に、それを繋いでいることへの確からしさを作品から感じることができる。

 時間の感覚をも失う深い霧の向こうには山の住人の気配が、霧が晴れた夜空には満点の星空、日が昇り光が野焼きで形成された平原に差し込む頃に、人々は目覚め新しい1日を再開させる。作家の卓越した構成力に繊細な色で描かれたこの写真集は、霧ヶ峰の歴史における儚くも美しい一葉の栞のようだ。

A deep fog usually envelops Mount Kirigamine (literally “Summit of Fog”). Once the mountain is covered by the fog, all boundaries disappear, and the fog seems to extend into infinity.

A while ago, the mountain was home to a ski resort, large enough to include two ski jumping platforms. The mountain was a candidate to play host to the Olympic Winter Games.
Further back in time, the entire mountain was once designated as hunting grounds. The Kamakura shogunate 800 years ago organized large hunting events in which the samurai competed with each other. Shinto rites held at temple ruins still remaining in the mountain pastures convey these ancient times to our present age.

Today, too, there are a number of building complexes on the mountain that have outlived their usefulness. These abandoned structures appear like fresh ruins that will tell future generations of our times.

“Trace” is a word used in mountaineering. It is used to denote alterations made by those who came before you. As climbers move through a mountain, they effect various changes. Paths change or disappear. They overlap each other like layers on a rock bed, their surface covered by the fog.

The fog lasts mere moments. It comes then disappears. It seems to swallow all and everything but soon vanishes into nothingness. It reminds me of our human existence. Ancient ruins and present buildings, too, are only transient presences on the mountain’s surface. Measured in the time scale of the mountain, humanity’s traces are but a momentary presence, just like fog.

Fog has no beginning, no end. I follow the path, looking for the traces it has left behind.