I studied integrated circuit design for wireless communication at Ritsumeikan University Graduate School, and am currently an engineer for wireless circuits for mobile phones. On the other hand, as a photographer, I uses silver salt photography techniques to create works, and have held several photo exhibitions in Kyoto and Tokyo. Regarding photography, I have never studied photography at an art university or a vocational school. However, I learned it by collaborating with many photographers on expression methods and analog photography techniques. A common theme in my work is the discovery of "unknown sensations." I feel the value of the new sensations that emerge by sharing with the viewer the sense of incongruity and empathy that arises from traveling and interacting with people from different worlds. I also feel the potential of photography in the inspiration that occurs to viewers in the process of trying to understand accidental works and unexpected happenings. We hope that our photographic expression will contribute to the creation of the spiritual wealth of someone.
“Damoy”, I heard this word many times during my trip and I was startled. I remembered hearing the same word from the soldiers detained in Siberia.
There are still some unresolved political issues between Japan and Russia, such as memory of war and territorial issues. As I grew up in Hokkaido, and I strongly felt that separation because there are many people who have been affected by the war with the Soviet Union.
I wanted to understand Russia, the unknown country for me. From my strong curiosity, I have decided to travel throughout Russia using the Siberian Railway.
I traveled approximately 9,000km from Vladivostok to Moscow getting on and off of the train to take pictures of the people and the scenery.
I've also talked with migrant workers, engineers, soldiers, merchants, travelers and other various people in the train using Google translation to discuss about each other's work, culture, politics, history, etc.
They were very talkative, friendly, and they spoke freely. I felt the people I've met through my trip were far from my image of Russia with the stereotype of being a closed society in the past.
“Домой”, this word means go home, hometown, and family. When we get to know each other, they often happily show off their proud landscapes and photos of their family and friends.
The man on his way home after finishing his work in the mine said.
"I can go home because of this railroad, and can meet my family, and can see you. I want to show you my hometown." I was grateful that they accept me, stranger from Japan, without prejudice.
At that time, I noticed that the dirty windows between me and them had been removed.
"Hello Everyone this is Kino Koike. I'm a photographer in Tokyo Japan, and am doing creative activities mainly using the silver salt photography method. -- Reason -- In this time my project "Damoy - Trans Siberian Railway-" consists of the people and the window view of the train from Vladivostok to Moskow it is called Trans Siberian Railway. Most people were on their way to their home, and I decided to use the phrase "Damoy" for my series title. The reason I took the photograpies in Siberia Russia is my strong curiosity. As you know, there are some political issues between Japan and Russia such as siberian detention and territorial disputes after World War II, and even now, there are many people in Japan who have the image of being scared and dangerous to Russia. When I was little, I grew up learning that. So I may be interested in it conversely. And I've started the journey to Russia. -- Technique -- In my project series, all prints have been made with analog process(gelatine silver prints). And during the trip, I used Film Leica Camera and B&W films. And I printed the images on the baryta paper in the darkroom by myself. -- Interesting episode -- During the trip, I was using Russian(USSR) lens. The Russians said that "You are a symbol of peace!". At first I didn't understand the meaning. But they wanted to say "During the war, Japan and Germany were Russia's hateful nemesis. But now, your act is that the three countries work together to create a great work. This is the friendship!" I was surprised and happy. I hope you feel the warmth and rich scenery of the people in my work, and we will have a world where humans can deepen their understanding beyond national borders, politics, and racial barriers. Thank you very much! "