Miho Kajioka (b. 1973, Japan, lives in Kyoto) studied fine art in the United States and Canada and started her career as a journalist in her native country Japan. It was after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that Kajioka was reconnected to her photographic art. Two months after the disaster, while reporting in the coastal city of Kamaishi, where over 800 people died, she found roses blooming beside a blasted building. That mixture of grace and ruin made her think of a Japanese poem:
In the spring, cherry blossoms,
In the summer the cuckoo,
In autumn the moon, and in
Winter the snow, clear, cold.
Written by the Zen monk Dogen, the poem describes the fleeting, fragile beauty of the changing seasons. The roses Kajioka saw in Kamaishi bloomed simply because it was spring. That beautiful and uncomplicated statement, made by roses in the midst of ruin, impressed her, and returned her to photography.
The photos presented, span Kajioka’s adulthood, including pictures she took while living abroad, as well as scenes she captured in Japan after the disaster. The little pictures of a flower, or a running boy, are scenes from daily life, as it is. These fragments of her life, from various periods and against changing backdrops, are not so different from each other, and the differences that remain aren't important. Happiness, sadness, beauty and tragedy only exist in our minds. Things are just as they are.