Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A ghostly sight (Kyoto LIX)



Jidai-festival in Kyoto. First set of photos are from the day before the festival. Blue chairs, red cones, red and white banners, empty and clean. A sense of anticipation in the air mixed with meticulous and clean arranging of the matsuri -stuffs make this irrational sight feel like an art installation or a setting for a movie. Everything just seems to appear from nowhere in this city. I feel like there's a portal under ground where all forms pop out without sound.

The latter set of photos are from the matsuri itself which was simply just a huge procession of 8 different costume sets from different historical eras in Japan. If one shuts ears from the sounds of cameras and blurs the sight of modernly clad people around, for a moment there the Gosho speaks it story through this tradition of mobilizing clothes, armor, animals with descendants of Kyoto. 

But the magic gets a new twist when one steps out of Gosho. There the past invades the streets normally reserved for cars and the image is complete. One could say it's so typical of Japan, the co-existence of the ancient and contemporary (or sometimes futuristic). But there is also the somewhat tragicomic face of this city looming around the street corners when witnessing this ghostly sight of  totally different times mixing on the same location. An annual event as a tribute to the past... but what is the real connection between this ancestral spirit and the contemporary occupants of this part of earth.

The portal stays open for forms, both old and new.