Not Seeing Is A Flower

Photographic exhibition and Book launch
Have A Butchers, London: 2022. 06.10 - 2022.08.04
Private view  9th June 2022.

1 Photographic book 120 pages
7 B&W Photographic prints

Not Seeing Is A Flower:
An investigation of the Japanese mindset.
Throughout history, photographers have turned their gaze to Japan and the quest to understand foreign cultures is nothing new to the art world. Orientalism laid its tentacles on Japanese culture, using a Western lens to reformulate the concepts behind its traditions. However, Lowe H Seger had a different viewpoint, one that juxtaposed the common perception of Japan with the reality that the photographer had experienced.

In 2021 Seger was commissioned to develop a series of pictures of Japan, investigating this country through an unbiased set of eyes. To do this, understanding the meaning of some principal Japanese beliefs was integral to avoiding misinterpretation. The concept of Ikigai and its idea of longevity raises questions on the role of values such as dignity, integrity and loyalty as fundamentals of happiness.

The photographers voyage started in the small city of Kamakura, and over five weeks, the landscapes kept changing, from hot-springs in the mountains to the linear and sandy shores of the Kyushu Island. Seger then took the journey to Saga, a Prefecture in South-West Japan, where he observed how traditional beliefs coexist and influence modern lives.

The rituals of paying respect to ancestors and the connectedness to the concept of death simultaneously moved and resonated with him. In Western culture, death is often ignored, feared and depersonalised, considering it as an encroachment on life rather than part of it. Seger found that death should act as a reminder of life’s precious nature - to challenge us to create meaningful moments.

Whilst documenting the beauty of Japan, theoretical questions arose surrounding the nature of photography. Is it attainable to create a dialogue concerning another’s beliefs and practical meanings without decimating something which is significantly beautiful in the first place? Arguably, this selected work has removed the naturalistic beauty of its content by publishing it and can exclusively be viewed as an excursion in the name of personal advantages. Still, Not Seeing Is A Flower is an abstract point of view that reflects the feeling of the photographer and his gentle view of Japan.

The exhibition features seven large photographic prints with an accompanying book. The display and size of the photographs are intended to bring the viewer closer to the experience of creating this work. The artworks do not follow a specific order, so the audience can explore the exhibition following their instinct. The photographs are recorded on Kodak 400 Tri-X film and Ilford Delta 3200, using both medium and small format cameras. Images are printed on Hahnemühle fine art archive

Curated by: H.A.B / Studio Nihilities

Mother Kelly’s
KO Combat Academy
Ian Faranda

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