Published by Daylight Books. Text by Kirsten Rian.
The latest body of work from California-based Japanese photographer Hiroshi Watanabe (born 1951), The Day the Dam Collapses consists (unusually for this artist) of digital pictures taken over the past five years (since his son was born). Ranging from seemingly ordinary details of quotidian life to poetic visual metaphors, the The Day the Dam Collapses paints the cycles of life as fleeting, fragile and devastatingly ephemeral. In his introduction to the book, Watanabe writes: "the truth is, we are all living like the characters in a disaster movie. We know we may someday face a disaster or a terrible event, but we keep living calmly as we do not know what and when that might occur. But a disaster will surely come to us. And the largest disaster must be our death that we all have to face sometime in the future." Despite these looming intimations of mortality, Watanabe persists in recording and sharing a life fully felt.