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Updated: Jan 10



At the end of 2021, I lectured on “psychology of creativity” in the Art Center at The University of Tokyo.

The main point of my lecture is that every photo inevitably fictionalizes the reality and it is the very possibilities for revealing the hidden reality in the world. I lectured to the students of my alma mater for an hour and the following question-and-answer session lasted for fourty five minutes. It was a great opportunity to organize my thoughts on photography, though it was a bit too tough job for me, a photographer.

My first attempt in the new year is to take part in Rotterdam Photo 2022 on Feb. 10th - 13th.

I exhibit 22 pictures from my projct “Inteface / Interference” there. I’ve already sent all the prints to the festival official. I’ll let you know the details in the near future. I hope the pandemic eases steadily and the festival is held in safety and with great success!



"From the Terminal Station, Guangzhou 1997" #11 ©Toru Ukai


"From the Terminal Station, Guangzhou 1997" #71 ©Toru Ukai


"From the Terminal Station, Guangzhou 1997" #69 ©Toru Ukai



China was in a transition stage in the late 1990's. Everyone tried to find and go their own ways for better life. There was not any paved road for the future but some obscure path like

an animal trail. People looked as if they had lived on their own without the aid of society.

I, a man from a well-controlled country often flinched at their life force. I could barely compete with them under the protection of my company, my passport and the Japanese yen.

Now I know that Chinese big names like Tencent and Alibaba were about to be born just in the chaotic period. Chaos is the womb of a revolution or innovation. A sign of prosperity had begun to grow in it, though I regarded it just as disorder then. The times were streaming aside of me toward the unknown future…


You can see other images related to the article in the project "From the Terminal Station, Guangzhou 1997".


Updated: Feb 7, 2021


"From the Terminal Station, Guangzhou 1997" #68 ©Toru Ukai

"From the Terminal Station, Guangzhou 1997" #13 ©Toru Ukai



Guangzhou is located just south of the Tropic of Cancer and the weather is hot and humid.

I found a lot of people sleeping outdoors or on the bare ground in the middle of 1990’s. Natives did so for escaping the heat in their rooms and the migrants did in the same way until they got jobs and accommodations somewhere in the city. Everything about it looked so natural and practical that I was never surprised. It seemed that they only concentrated on living a normal life or surviving. They did it without keeping up appearances. It's one of the most difficult things for us, the Japanese. I learned a lot from the naked realities of people’s daily lives there.


You can see other images related to the article in the project "From the Terminal Station, Guangzhou 1997".

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