Takeshi Suga (1982, Japan) takes us along on a journey through wintertime Japan, across snowy landscapes and frozen quietude. Originally inspired by the 1934 song ‘Winter Wonderland’, which is quite a common holiday season song in Western culture, Suga says that while many Japanese people may have heard the word ‘wonderland’, the idea is still a foreign concept. This led him to pursue the representation of a wonderland in Japan.
Beyond the fairy dust sprinkling of emotion that we may expect of an effort to imbue landscapes with sentimentality, the photographs leave traces time and again of their taker’s presence: the window’s reflection, or the distortion of water droplets in view. The very elements which separate us from the distance are those which connect us to the photographer. Viewed together, the images offer a shared walk through winter, offering us insight not only into the landscape but into Suga’s contemplation of it.
Winter Wonderland was featured as a portfolio in GUP#49, the Intimacy issue.