My encounter with Myanmar was attending the Myanmar shooting tour that Photographer Mr. Satoru Watanabe was recruiting.

At that time, Myanmar was under the military regime and it was a faraway presence where travel tour pamphlets and guide books are not seen much. If ordinary Japanese were asked about Myanmar, I was one of them, knowledge of the movie "Harp of Burma" and "Aung San Suu Kyi is held under house arrest”. 

On the shooting tour there was another purpose besides taking pictures, which was to donate a part of the participation tour price as an expense for activities such as school and orphanage creation in Myanmar. The tour is planned by Ms. Ann who runs hotels and restaurants in Inlay Lake in Shan state, Myanmar and Japanese Dr. Tanaka living in Bangkok, Thailand. They are planning and recruiting participants I entered Yangon from Bangkok and stopped by Bagan, Poppa Mountain, Pindaya, a hot spring around Inlay Lake and staying at Ms. Ann’s Hotel where on the Lake. And visiting an elementary school to donate and welcomed, walking through a market where various ethnic minorities gathered. 

After participating in the shooting tour in December 2005, I took photographs of local people and photogenic scene around Inlay Lake nine times by October 2016. I hear that many of the people who visit Myanmar many times are attracted to the religiousness and kindness of the people of Myanmar and I am one of them, but what I feel through my camera finder is as a human being of their eyes. It’s so impressive and strong. When an alien hanging a camera came as a photographer and they seem to be naturally standing in front of my camera, their power is sometimes when my hands to focus on seems to stop.

Cyclone "Nargis" struck Myanmar in May 2008. Many volunteers and medical personnel from all over the world headed for the afflicted area. Fortunately Inlay Lake area was not damaged so Ms. Ann and Dr. Tanaka also went to the Delta region in the southern part of Myanmar with a large amount of aid supplies and carpenters from Inlay Lake. I was only looking at the mail from them and web news site without being able to do anything because I was in Japan. Such Japanese medical doctor participated in relief activities locally I knew that there was a reporting party for returning Japan.

-Meeting with a female Dr, Satoko Nachi

-Give & Take; Photographer Activity and Myanmar Assistance (MFCG)

   I met Myanmar and I was able to establish a career as a photographer by continuing to shoot their photographs.

 I held a photo exhibition for the first time in 2009, and in 2013 I was able to hold a photo exhibition together with the publication of the photo book "Thanaka". The photo book is selected as a selection book of the Japan Library Association and it is placed in some libraries throughout the country. 

While I continued shooting at the site, I was able to learn a lot from Myanmar, but I began to think what I could do against Myanmar. The act of taking pictures is called “Take a Picture” in English. I have continued "Take" from Myanmar since 2005, but when I learned the enormous damage of Cyclone Nargis which hit Myanmar in 2008, I was "Give" nothing against Myanmar I noticed that there was nothing. At that time I met Dr. Nachi who later launched the Myanmar Family Clinic and Garden (MFCG). I started a group in 2012 and started moving clinic and other activities in Myaungmya of Irrawaddy area since 2015. I am also participating as one of the Board member with the goal of promoting the health of local people and supporting independence.

  I hope to donate a part of the sales of photographic works and photo book to MFCG and back up MFCG activities so that I can give back to Myanmar at least.

- Why I take pictures with monochrome film

   Even now when digital cameras become common, there is a reason for me to shoot with monochrome film.

   For example, if you are shooting a specific subject such as a beautiful landscape of Myanmar, a smile of the people of Myanmar, a golden Shwe Dagon pagoda or the like, it would be best to shoot in color using a digital camera.

I am shooting in Myanmar is Myanmar scene and local people, but what I want to express through photos is a little different from the visible scenery. In terms of words it is a feeling or feeling as it feels with the core of an unexplainable heart, for example, when I encountered things that continued to accumulate in such a time as being distant, beliefs and thoughts I want to express something that can’t be easily expressed through the subject. I think that I continue photographing in Myanmar because I can meet many people who feel with my mind and the scenery that long time created. 

The digital camera is convenient to see the image immediately when shooting, but using B&W film takes several weeks to print and check images. The memories that remained in my head when I took a picture to shoot may be faint or faint as time goes on and it may be ambiguous as I felt when I shot. Reviving in memory In order to reproduce what we felt during shooting, I think that the style that I draw with colorless light and shadow, creates styles that match my aesthetic sense and expression.


 2005年12月の撮影ツアーに参加した後、私は2016年10月までに9回ほどミャンマーを訪れ彼女のホテルに泊まりインレー湖に暮らす人々や彼らを取り巻く美しい風景を撮影してきました。ミャンマーを何度も訪れる人達の多くはミャンマーの人々の信心深さや優しさなどに惹かれると聞きますし私もその一人ですが、ファインダーを通して私が感じるのは彼らの眼というか素の人間としての強さです。見ず知らずのカメラぶら下げた外国人が写真を撮らせてくれと来てカメラの前に自然に立ちじっとカメラを見返すとき、彼らの迫力に私はピントを合わせる手が止まりそうになる時があります。 何度かミャンマーを訪れ撮影を繰り返していた2008年5月、ミャンマーをサイクロン「ナルギス」が襲いました。世界中から多くのボランティアや医療関係者が被災地に向かいました。インレー湖は幸い被害はありませんでしたがAnn女史やDr.田中氏もインレー湖から大量の支援物資、大工など職人を連れてミャンマー南部のデルタ地帯に向かいました。日本に居た私は何が出来るわけでも無く現地からのメールを見ていました。そんななか日本人医師が現地で救援活動に参加し、その帰国報告会があると知り私は聞きに行きました。



-Give & Take;写真作家活動とミャンマー支援(MFCG)
 現地で撮影を続けるなかで自分はミャンマーから多くのことを学び得ることが出来ましたが、自分はミャンマーに対して何が出来るか考えるようになりました。写真を撮る行為は英語ではTake a Pictureと言います。私は2005年からミャンマーにから”Take”を続けて来ましたが、2008年にミャンマーを襲ったサイクロンナルギスの甚大な被害を知ったとき、ミャンマーに対して私が何も”Give”出来ていないことに気づきました。そのころ知り合ったのが後にミャンマーファミリー・クリニックと菜園の会(MFCG)を立ち上げたDr.名知でした。2012年に団体を立ち上げ2015年からイラワジ管区ミャウンミャで移動クリニックなどの活動を始め、現地の人たちの健康促進、自立支援を目標に私も理事の一人として参加しています。



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