All Images are copy rights @2018 Masako Miyazaki

The Story of the Tree: Masako Miyazaki

The old house in Tokyo
was made of wood and
There were 6 rooms
In the Visitor’s room where red and brown leather sofas were taking up the space
I found a secret hole in the ceiling
and hid my treasures there
They were “Origami papers” whose colours were pale pink and blue with flower patterns
The pattern of the ceiling was made up of growth rings
When I was sleeping on a futon with a cold, I observed the ceiling
While counting the rings,
I fell asleep and dreamt that I took a trip somewhere I did not know

Cherry for the day of summer festival
Small round fruits whose colour is mix of red and yellow
Arranged nicely in a transparent frosted glass dish
Singing its coolness and colourfulness

When wearing a Yukata
with patterns of red goldfish
I put a small cherry into my mouth
Its sweet and sour tastes spread
Made my heart dance
The pit with a little fruit left on it
buried in the earth in a small garden 
With my wishes

A while later the pit took root in the soil
In the spring, the branches are reaching out
Playing a melody of C chords with the wind
When the time comes that the golden fish’s Yukata does not fit anymore
 I left the wooden house

The person whose hands are big
 I met in the Sahara desert
Played “Moon River” under a starry sky
The next morning, he left somewhere
Carrying sand on his back

Six months later, two postcards had arrived in the mail 
My dry heart was now saved

What was the person's name?
Memory falls into the water
Because I saw you in my dream
That's fine

The cherry pits I gave him in return to the starry song
 I wonder if it was rooted
In his sand

I have heard that
The cherry tree was rooted in Tokyo’s little garden but it
was cut down with the old house
Now my cherry tree has just
rooted in me
It is growing Slowly
and slowly
Like Compeito candy melts in the mouth

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.
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