Falling Leaves – A true story by Yoshida Akihito

Falling Leaves – A true story by Yoshida Akihito

When I go to see a photo exhibition I usually go through the venue first and then I come back and read the introductory statement which usually is printed on the wall at the entrance. Exactly as when I read a book and, only at the very end, I turn back to read the preface. In this way I enjoy the work of art without prejudices, trying to guess which is the artist’s message and his final aim.

Having said that, in Kyoto last week-end I’ve experienced something different. Arriving at “Falling Leaves” – the photography exhibition by Yoshida Akihito opened in occasion of KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival, running in Kyoto from the 14th to the 26th of April – I immediately felt that I had to read the statement at the front door. Well, by reading the statement I’ve got goose bumps.

The text described a story of a young boy and his grandmother. He grew up with her living by her side every single day of his life till one day, suddenly, he disappeared. I stopped at that point, I wouldn’t go further with the narration. Tears started to fall from my eyes… the lady at the reception stared at me, I composed myself and said: “Sorry but this is quite a strong story, what’s happened to the boy?” Her reply was: “Over there you can find the artist, you can ask him directly”.

And so I met Yoshida Akihito, an ex elementary teacher who left his work after his wife told him that he should start taking pictures instead. Driven by this sort of omen, Akihito bought a brand new Canon and started to shoot his cousin and his grandmother. It was the year 2011 when he begun, and Akihito carried on this sort of life-photo-report for 3 long years.

The young boy which feeds the old woman, which gives her a bath, which cuts her nails, which reads by her side, which gives her an hug…

At the end of the exhibition tour, a pictures of his cousin leaving on his motor bike… and he never came back.

Yoshida Akihito - Falling Leaves - Kyotographie

Talking with the Japanese photographer I’ve found out that the young boy committed suicide in the forest nearby his house. Their grandmother, after waiting for her nephew several months, could not survive to the news of his nephew’s death and, few weeks later, she left her life aware of the cruel truth.

This is a strong – emotional – story, and the artist Yoshida Akihito could well represent it with his photos conferring to the viewer a depth sense of intimacy and love.

Meaningless is asking yourself why?

Nobody can give a rational reason to what passed to the mind of this Japanese boy.

What we can state for sure it that behind Akihito’s work there is a deep reason, hidden and apparently similar to a coincidence, but I believe it was already written in his destiny… a photographer’s destiny, indeed.

Words and Images by Elisa Da Rin Puppel

Phography work of Art by Yoshida Akihito, click here for his official website.


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