Photography Project 

“Matsuri” is a photographic project that I started in the summer of 2018 after seeing the Shimokitazawa and Koenji Awa Odori in Tokyo, which was my first time seeing such a kind of matsuri festival in Japan. I was deeply moved and felt immediately transported into another world, listening to the drums, singing and watching the dancing of the performers while being surrounded by the hot and humid weather that characterizes Japanese summers.

I was so taken aback by the energy that emanated from the participants, especially their otherworldy movements such the unique hand gestures and leg movements in awa odori, or the energetic procession of mikoshi (portable shrines) in local maturi, which inspired me to start this photographic project.

Looking at the images now, I feel a strange kind of sadness, knowing that it has been almost two years since I last took images at any matsuri, with all such festivals being canceled to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. My vivid memories of these joyous festivals have now started to almost fade into the same blurriness that these images inhabit, only brought back to life by bits of boisterous sound and chants that I immediately recall when looking at these images.