The Magical World of Kouichi Chiba

by Laura Luppi

 

When poetry becomes art or art enters the world of poetry, this generates a sort of magnetic force that makes the human sensitivity pursue the highest peaks of our being.

No matter if you are the maker or the spectator of this spell, what happens is a sensory experience shared between the originator and the captured. You plunge into another time, in which those feelings such as nostalgia, loneliness and abandonment become common ground for sharing emotions: it’s a sort of give and take that brings back to the most social and empathetic part of the human soul. There are no rules or instructions for use: art is a world apart, made up of people who communicate with the media which they find themselves more in synch with: images, dance, music.

Young Japanese photographer Kouichi Chiba leads us into an amazing world, which we all belong to somehow. It’s a stage further than the real world, but still inside our everyday life.

Small and solitary figures drawn on paper and cut out, main characters of stories captured by the camera, who – however it may appear – have much to tell. Suspended in space, they come to life through the simplicity of the lines and the synthesis of the scenery they fit in like protagonists of our own dreams, hopes and, sometimes, disillusions. A subtle sense of loneliness seems to infect the air and the urban spaces and landscapes in the background, that often blur the line between a particular setting and a simple hint of it.

Chiba’s photographs have the power to recall the feeling of the sublime: when looking at his works, we are suddenly taken back to our condition of Lilliputian beings compared to the greatness of nature and the other majestic things around us. But in this case the fragility of the human soul makes its presence felt, in particular when facing the challenges of life, the transience of love, the impermanence of friendship, the desire for motherhood and for protecting our loved ones.

This little big dreamers — astronauts, dogs, mice, adults and children — win a big bet: they are able to communicate the immediacy of a message that goes straight to the heart of those who know how to listen to it, there in the hypnotic silence of a picture that has just be taken.

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