When autumn goes and winter comes to Fairbanks, I am cheerfully heading off outside to find ice. Ice patterns shaped on a pond, lake or river, are one of the most magnetic subjects during the beginning of winter. The window to find ice patterns is short, because all surfaces on the ground are covered once snow falls in Alaska.
Wandering around looking for ice reminds me of treasure hunting in my boyhood. I used to run out into the woods after school hours. Exploring places that made up my neighborhood was an adventure and I enjoyed leaving my footprints on unknown areas. It was fun and uplifting enough to fulfill my young, innocent curiosity.
As an adult, photographing ice has its roots from those childhood adventures. It’s in that spirit I strive to know the environment deeper−and genuine curiosity propels me to keep photographing and allows me to be involved in the place I live. It’s a dialog between nature and me. The photographs are the by-products of my treasure hunting.
I first came to Alaska from Mizunami City in my native Japan ten years ago. I wanted to pursue my passion of photographing nature and Alaska has richly rewarded my photographic work.
In Japan, my hometown is in the countryside and is surrounded by mountains. A river runs through the town. I grew up in a natural environment that provided the beauty of four clearly defined seasons. Living there is totally different from the fast-paced modern metropolitan areas like Tokyo.
My first encounter with photography was seeing two black-and-white photographs on the walls of my family home. One of them depicted a hiking trail on top of a mountain and the other was of my mother. They were taken by my father, and were well composed with delicate balance. He loved both mountain hiking and his wife. Color photographs were more common, so my father’s black and white images were very special to me. They looked old but timeless at the same time.