ZIPANGU

Artist Statement

Return to Zipangu

Since my first trip to Japan more than 30 years ago, I have been fascinated by Japanese culture.  During college I majored in East Asian Studies and then lived in Japan on and off for a total of more than 15 years.  The Japanese have been able to create a truly modern culture which still reveres its long traditions and history.  I particularly enjoy finding manifestations of Japanese culture in both well known and unusual places.  For example, there are many similarities between a Japanese shrine or temple garden and the detailed embroidery of a Japanese kimono.

I named this series of prints Zipangu because that is the name Marco Polo gave to Japan and also the origin of our English word.  Whenever I am in Japan I try to find subjects which are evocative of Japanese traditions and history.  My goal is to capture images which convey the spirit and beauty of Japan's unique and rich culture. 

While most graphic arts start with a blank canvas, photography is the exact opposite.  A photographer's greatest challenge is to create order out of chaos.  Often what is left out of an image is just as important as what is included.  I strive to create images that are graphically bold and simple, as well as emotionally moving, creating a bond between the subject and the viewer.  I also enjoy using the visual impact of color in relation to all of our senses.  Color, texture, patterns and design are all musicians that pull at the strings of our emotions.  My Japanese images encompass a wide variety of subjects which I hope allow one to feel as if they have visited Japan even if only for a brief moment.

 

©2003 - 2010 Rob Tilley Photography. All Rights Reserved, Worldwide.