In the Praise of Shadow
Japanese novelist Jun'ichiro Tanizaki disdained the "violent" artificial light wrought by modern civilization. I, too, am an anachronist: rather than live at the "cutting edge" of the contemporary, I feel more at ease in the absent past. Domesticating fire sure marks humankind's ascendancy over other species. For the last several million years since, we’veilluminated the night with flames. I decided to record "the life of a candle." Late one midsummer night, I threw open the windows, and invited in the night breeze. Lighting a candle, I also stopped open my camera lens. After several hours of wavering in the breeze, the candle burned out. Savoring the dark, I slowly closed the shutter. The candle's life varied on any given night―short intensely burning nights, long constantly glowing nights―each different, yet equally lovely in its afterglow.
- Hiroshi Sugimoto