Ainu, Portrait of the Wind by Photographer Makiko Ui
Many of these different influences bounce around in my head, trying to make sense of them all is full-time work in itself. Usually once I’ve cleansed my mind and let these thoughts settle down, let nature take it’s course, obvious patterns emerge and little details protrude which I can use on this path of self-discovery. As the quote says, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards.”
The inspirations that stick out most are those with the least obvious connotations to whatever path I’m travelling on, those that make you ponder about life and different cultures. These diverse observations and opinions can lead to further learning and other forms of realisation, things that you hadn’t necessarily seen or considered before. A wonderful set of photographs that did capture my imagination this week are by photographer Makiko Ui, they were recently exhibited at the National Geographic store in London. Unfortunately the exhibition ended a few months back. Saying that, we can now admire these on Makiko Ui’s online portfolio.
This series titled ‘Ainu, Portrait of the Wind’ gives us a fantastic glimpse in to the life of the peaceful Ainu people, who were early inhabitants of the northern Japanese archipelago, which they called the Ainu Mosir, the ‘land of the people’. Makiko Ui has been visiting this community with her daughter and she has been accepted as a community member. This exhibition captures the time Ui spent with the Ainu community, capturing their spirit and spiritual life. I’m personally drawn to the selection of black and white photographs, they’re smooth and light filled, also full of emotion and character. It’s superb to see the difference in culture and challenge the way we live ourselves, obviously this can seep through to our working methods, giving us a sense of what’s right and wrong in our own surroundings. Hopefully you enjoy this series and will flick through the rest on the Makiko Ui website.
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