"I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later—because I did not belong there, did not come from there—but when you are twenty-two or twenty-three, you figure that later you will have a high emotional balance, and be able to pay whatever it costs. I still believed in possibilities then, still had the sense, so peculiar to New York, that something extraordinary would happen any minute, any day, any month."
"Masahisa Fukase was born in Hokkaido, Japan in 1934. In 1952 he enrolled in the Photography Department of Nihon University in Tokyo. After graduation in 1956 he was hired at Dai-Ichi Advertising Company, where he began working as a commercial photographer while he pursued his artistic career. Two solo exhibitions followed in quick succession. 1974 marked several important events in Fukase’s life. He established a photography school called The Workshop with his colleagues Shomei Tomatsu, Eiko Hosoe, Noriaki Yokosuka, Daido Moriyama and Nobuyoshi Araki. The same year, his work was included in the exhibition New Japanese Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, curated by John Szarkowski and Shoji Yamagishi. Despite these professional accomplishments, his unstable marriage of the past ten years had begun to dissolve; he returned to his birthplace of Hokkaido seeking solace. At this time, Fukase began to photograph the black birds that would become emblematic of his finest work. Sadly, on June 20, 1992 a severe accident prematurely ended Fukase’s artistic career. Although he was among a generation of young Japanese artists struggling with the constraints of their society, Fukase strayed from the cultural concerns and nihilistic expressionism of his colleagues, focusing instead on a deeply personal meditation on human existence. The somber beauty of his raven photographs reflect his lonely, troubled life and reveal his appreciation of the defiant isolation of these creatures.” [Robert Mann Gallery]
"Cities are smells: Acre is the smell of iodine and spices. Haifa is the smell of pine and wrinkled sheets. Moscow is the smell of vodka on ice. Cairo is the smell of mango and ginger. Beirut is the smell of the sun, sea, smoke, and lemons. Paris is the smell of fresh bread, cheese, and derivations of enchantment. Damascus is the smell of jasmine and dried fruit. Tunis is the smell of night musk and salt. Rabat is the smell of henna, incense and honey. A city that cannot be known by its smell is unreliable. Exiles have a shared smell: the smell of longing for something else; a smell that remembers another smell. A painting, nostalgic that guides you, like a worn tourist map, to the smell of the original place. A smell is a memory and a setting sun. Sunset, here, is beauty rebuking the stranger. But to love the sunset is not, as they say, one of the attributes of exile."
- Mahmoud Darwish, In the Presence of Absence (via sirilaf)