2018, united vagabonds

Design : Fabien Baron

The tiny theater of light

When the weather is fine, at a certain time of day beautiful light always flows into a room of my small apartment on 68th St, from a window on the north side. For about three hours that light will abruptly appear in various parts of the room then disappear, appear and vanish again. Absentmindedly watching the light darting about, I decided to capture it in photographs. Reflected off the windows of the high-rise across the street, it was landing in this room of my apartment. Starting one day, each day I would photograph, tirelessly, that light falling on white paper, and the shadow cast by light and paper. Getting the shots during the day, I printed them out at night. Day after day after day.

Then one day, while staring at the light moving constantly on paper, I was seized by the strange sensation of riding around in a huge vehicle of some sort: witnessing the speed of light moving on paper perhaps gave me a sense of the planet moving.

In any case, every day, beautiful sunlight was dancing ceaselessly on paper in my room, in infinite shades of strength. And, though not visible from the room, high in the skies above, clouds were probably dancing too.

Which is perhaps why time spent watching light fall on paper in my little room was like watching a marvelous show, consisting of light dancing in a little paper theater.

Thus daily I chased light and shadow all around the room, attempting to capture the light of this paper theater on film. If anyone living in the building opposite had spotted me, doubtless they would have been disturbed by what appeared to be some weird, crazy guy crawling around, pointing his camera at a floor with nothing on it, not to mention occasionally gazing upward—having tired of looking down all the time—still clutching said camera and muttering to himself.

And so that is how I chased light and shadow falling on white paper, day after day.

Yoshihiko Ueda


68丁目にある、僕の小さなアパートの部屋には、晴れた日は、ある時間が来ると決まって、北側の窓から、美しい光が射してくる。その光は毎日、3時間くらいの間、部屋のあちこちに唐突に現れては消え、また現れて消える。部屋の中をめまぐるしく動く光をぼんやり見つめているうちに、この光を写真に撮ろうと思った。光は通りを挟んで向かい側にそびえるビルの窓ガラスに 反射して、僕のアパートの部屋に落ちてくるのだった。ある日から毎日、白い紙に落ちてくる光と、その光と紙が落とす影を飽きずに撮っていた。毎日、夜にはプリントをし、昼の間、撮っていた。それを毎日、毎日、繰り返していた。