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  • Hanami | Aoyama by Keith Ng
  • Hanami | Aoyama by Keith Ng
  • Hanami | Aoyama by Keith Ng
  • Hanami | Aoyama by Keith Ng
  • Hanami | Aoyama by Keith Ng
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Hanami | Aoyama by Keith Ng


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Hanami | Aoyama by Keith Ng


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  • Publisher: Leftover Press
  • Year: 2012
  • Limited edition of 500 numbered and signed copies
  • Format: Hardback
  • Condition: New
  • The title, Hanami | Aoyama 花見青山, refers to the tradition of hanami - literally 'flower viewing', where people gather and celebrate under cherry trees during blossom season, engaging in festive meals and bouts of drinking. Sakura (cherry blossoms), due to their relatively short lifespan, are seen to symbolise the fleeting nature of life, and often planted in cemeteries. This book is set in Aoyama Cemetery, which was a popular destination for such parties. But as the drinking and festivities overwhelmed the peacefulness of the cemetery, parties were outlawed in 2009. The books takes as a starting point two readings of the homonymous Japanese word ukiyo. The first meaning of ukiyo is "floating world' and the second "sorrowful world'. These two concepts of ukiyo are used here as a catalyst to explore the delicate relation between freedom and role-play in society, while examining the politics of identity. Resembling a performance piece, some maintain the role asked for them, while others are happy to abandon theirs. Immediately after the events of 3/11, the airwaves were inundated with tragic imagery of death and misery. For the Japanese people, the terms of life and death had fundamentally shifted. Keith Ng explains, about the photographs in the books, which were taken between 2005 and 2012: 'I began to look over those photographs as a way of reflecting on these shifts, and to re-discover how death gives shape to the meaning of life outside the sphere of incomprehensible'.



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