Photos: Kosuke Okahara’s “Blue Affair,” an experiential documentation of Koza

  • “Blue Affair” is a photo book, and also an experimental short film based on photographer Kosuke Okahara’s dreams of his time spent in a town called Koza in Japan. Creative director Tatsuya Ishikawa writes extensively about Okahara’s work and process in the afterword of the book. He writes how physical and nonphysical boundaries shape the identity of Koza’s people and demarcate Koza as an entity set apart from the rest of Okinawa island.
UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2021 02:01 PM IST 9 Photos
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Tatsuya Ishikawa, a creative director writes about the work in the afterword, “In the pictures captured in Koza by Kosuke Okahara, I don’t see the photographer. It’s not because he was the one photographing, or for some other physical reasons. I don’t find superficial emotions emanating through his lens from either the subjects or from the photographer.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

Tatsuya Ishikawa, a creative director writes about the work in the afterword, “In the pictures captured in Koza by Kosuke Okahara, I don’t see the photographer. It’s not because he was the one photographing, or for some other physical reasons. I don’t find superficial emotions emanating through his lens from either the subjects or from the photographer.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2021 02:01 PM IST
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“Nobody’s gaze ever met his lens, as if the photographer was not present. This might not make sense, but it feels to me as though while the photographer was with his subjects, looking directly at them, he was actually observing from another realm.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

“Nobody’s gaze ever met his lens, as if the photographer was not present. This might not make sense, but it feels to me as though while the photographer was with his subjects, looking directly at them, he was actually observing from another realm.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2021 02:01 PM IST
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“What is left are pictures free from superficial emotions such as warmth and sadness and left with an almost unbearable weight of presence. Without a doubt, in those moments, while sharing the same space he was observing from some other dimension.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

“What is left are pictures free from superficial emotions such as warmth and sadness and left with an almost unbearable weight of presence. Without a doubt, in those moments, while sharing the same space he was observing from some other dimension.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2021 02:01 PM IST
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“As Katakana is a symbolic way to define and separate things with non-Japanese origins, by giving Koza a Katakana name, an “otherness” is implied. As such, this also suggests the existence of borders. For Koza, its borders exist in multiple planes and dimensions,” writes Ishikawa about Koza, where “Blue Affair” is set.(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

“As Katakana is a symbolic way to define and separate things with non-Japanese origins, by giving Koza a Katakana name, an “otherness” is implied. As such, this also suggests the existence of borders. For Koza, its borders exist in multiple planes and dimensions,” writes Ishikawa about Koza, where “Blue Affair” is set.(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2021 02:01 PM IST
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“Okahara realized the inherent contradiction in the documentary process. Being more conscious takes one away from the purpose while getting rid of the purpose is the only way to get closer to the real intent. In that sense, documentary is like a tragedy of fate.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

“Okahara realized the inherent contradiction in the documentary process. Being more conscious takes one away from the purpose while getting rid of the purpose is the only way to get closer to the real intent. In that sense, documentary is like a tragedy of fate.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2021 02:01 PM IST
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“Like a dream world, scenes in Koza passes beyond Okahara’s imagination. One moment, the photographer sees people sleeping on the street. In the next, suddenly he finds the body of a dead cat.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

“Like a dream world, scenes in Koza passes beyond Okahara’s imagination. One moment, the photographer sees people sleeping on the street. In the next, suddenly he finds the body of a dead cat.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2021 02:01 PM IST
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“The people of Koza took Okahara into their dreams. In other words, he was allowed into their world. I am not sure how he made it possible.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

“The people of Koza took Okahara into their dreams. In other words, he was allowed into their world. I am not sure how he made it possible.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2021 02:01 PM IST
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“He did not sneak into those scenes nor did he simply wait for convenient moments to occur. Instead, he spent the time to connect with Koza as well as to gain the trust of the people there. Only then, I am quite sure, he photographed without hesitation,” writes Ishikawa about Kosuke Okahara’s process in “Blue Affair.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

“He did not sneak into those scenes nor did he simply wait for convenient moments to occur. Instead, he spent the time to connect with Koza as well as to gain the trust of the people there. Only then, I am quite sure, he photographed without hesitation,” writes Ishikawa about Kosuke Okahara’s process in “Blue Affair.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2021 02:01 PM IST
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“His photographs confront us with the existence of the people of Koza. They are proof that he was allowed to be close to their truth and be a part of their dream.There is no need for color, we don’t remember colors in dreams anyway.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

“His photographs confront us with the existence of the people of Koza. They are proof that he was allowed to be close to their truth and be a part of their dream.There is no need for color, we don’t remember colors in dreams anyway.”(Photo by Kosuke Okahara)

UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2021 02:01 PM IST
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