All Images are copy rights @2018 Masako Miyazaki
In my photographic series, “The Story of the Tree”, trees are subjects and metaphors.
Trees are sources of life and a part of our everyday life in that we benefit from them for
survival and also for comfort. When I walk in the forest with my camera, trees help me
to go back to an organic state and allow me to escape busy city life and slow down to
my own pace to perceive trees’ presence. When I feel this sensation, I release the
shutter and freeze the encounter, which would otherwise flee.
I am fascinated by the unique shape of tree branches and roots stretching into the air
and earth. Their leaves waving in the wind and others laying on the ground. These are
the natural phenomena that I photograph. As I focus on the details of individual trees, I
frame them as portraits. I observe that each tree has a different appearance and shape,
a similar characteristic to human beings. Working this way, I speculate as to their
different personalities, backgrounds, and histories. I recognized myself in one of the
trees, and this inspired me to write a story. The story is a reflection of my past, my
present, and describes the feeling I have of being rooted in a new place and culture
from Japan to Canada. Despite these changes, I carry my identity and it can be seen
through the photographic encounter. Cherry trees are a symbol of my Japanese
heritage, and are at the heart of the story.
To print this project, I used Washi paper which is made of natural plant material and is
synchronized with my subject. I am fascinated by the texture and archival qualities and
how this parallels the legacy of the photographic image and the lifespan of the tree as
an extension of its form as paper pulp.