Report on the 2017 (40th public invitation)
Public Grand Prize Selection Meeting

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Kanako Shokuda
“Tiny Tenderness”

Ever since I was child, I’ve had the sensation of clicking a shutter in my mind multiple times a day. When I stop and stare at things I would normally overlook, I also get a sense the expansive and wonderful vitality within these things. For example, my heart will pound at the sight of tiny flowers whose name I don’t know blooming on a roadside or at the contrast of light and shade streaming through a crack in a nondescript window. I created my works from these personal moments.

The title “Tiny Tenderness” refers to the perspective of looking at things with care and empathy and to the wondrous vitality one can see in this way. Tiny tenderness is found everywhere in the environment around us, be it fruit on display at a supermarket or a calm, human-like expression on a small dog that passes you by on the street.

The moments I unthinkingly point my camera at are moments when these tiny things shine radiantly in the sun’s light. My photos are a continuation of the act of gazing at things with care and tenderness.

As I take photos, I’ve noticed my feelings at that time are etched in the photos. My photos include not only subjects like women or plants that emanate a powerful life force but also still objects like faucets, hoses, and a row of chairs. Maybe they are somehow an overlay of the cowardly me and a quiet, calm motif. A part of me feels jealous of people for being alive. At the same time, despite becoming mentally fatigued when I’m with a group of people, I feel lonely when I’m by myself. Partly out of a reaction to this, I want to leave behind cheerful photos.

In an age when anyone can easy take pictures, I sometimes wonder what my purpose is in taking pictures, what am I aiming to achieve? One answer is I see my role as being like an hourglass. That’s because an hourglass visually expresses the inexorable nature of time. Each grain of sand is like a moment of time, and the smooth continuous flow of sand signifies the unstoppable passage of time. For me today, taking photos means the act of tenderly and tangibly preserving each of these grains / moments.

I believe buried as memories in everyone’s body are the discovery and delight of first encounters that we felt in childhood. Around us every day are all kinds of motifs that call these discoveries and delight to mind. That’s why I intend to continue taking joyful photos that will be looked at for a long time.


Judges’s Comment

Yoshihiko Ueda

I sense a warm light from your photos. And the color is stunningly beautiful. I’m not simply talking about photo technique; I sense a desire to be happy and to look at happy things. What subjects do you want to shoot in the future?

First, I want to always keep taking photos of unremarkable things in my environment. Second, I want to share happy moments and what I want to see are people, so I hope to record in photos joyful moments of many people, of people close to me.


Judges’s Comment

Tomoko Sawada

To be honest, when I took in your exhibit, no substantial impression formed in my mind, perhaps because I felt it was too beautiful and superficial. These photos were taken with an awareness of brightness and happiness. Why I didn’t have much of an emotional response looking at the exhibit was the lack of any sense of malice in the photos that were solely preoccupied with being bright and happy. Nevertheless, as you live and gain more experiences, I suspect you will stop shooting only happy things and people. I want to see what sort of photos you come up with then.



  • Kanako Shokuda

    “Tiny Tenderness”

  • 214

    “The collection of encounters”

  • Ai Mizobuchi


  • Hana Sawada

    “Gesture of Rally #1705”

  • Trond Ansten & Benjamin Breitkopf

    “17 toner hvitt”

  • Azusa Yamaguchi

    “me and my grandfather”

  • Giancarlo Shibayama

    “I traveled on an island”