Hirohisa Koike “Nõmmegraphy” 24.05-09.07.18

When I woke up in the morning and opened the curtains in my bedroom, a pure white world unfolded before my eyes.

On the 25th of October 2016, it snowed for the first time this season. I grabbed my small camera from the wooden shelf, opened the window and pressed the shutter button. From that day onwards I decided to record my days living in Nõmme.

I had moved to Tallinn to complete my doctoral thesis on photography using 20th-century French philosophy; my full-fledged artistic activities had been reduced due to temporal constraints. However, I never got tired of looking at the scenery which I saw from the window of a room where I spent most of my time writing papers. Looking outside every day from the same window, I started to feel not only the changes of the seasons and weather but also recognise slight changes in light. I perceived the flow of time by looking at the slow growth of a potted plant, placed on the window sill. It had been a gift from a dear friend of mine.

When I visited this house for the first time ten years ago, my friend’s family lived in one of the smaller flats in the building. The house had been built by his great-grandfather but had been taken away from their rightful owners during the Soviet occupation. I still remember photographing the light shining on the window of the room where the piano used to stand. After the renovation of the building, two flats were joined into one bigger apartment. My friends left to work abroad, and I have been renting the house since then.

Despite coming all the way from the Land of the Rising Sun eight thousand kilometres away, here I was usually walking within a range of only a kilometre from the house, listening to the sound of stepping in the snow, narrowing my eyes to the winter sunlight, taking a deep breath in the woods. I sometimes stopped and found joy in collecting fragments of images into my small camera. By this “differential” behaviour, I was able to consider such “micro-changes” that appeared/disappeared ephemerally every day and recognise them as something unique, valuable and beautiful.

Hirohisa Koike