Exhibition: Bukimi – Keiko Goto

Exhibition: Bukimi – Keiko Goto

These photographs are of Australian native plants, fruits and vegetables that Keiko finds locally in Brisbane and are taken by 8×10 large format camera using black & white films, developed and printed by herself.  Using a large format camera can direct your attention deeper, even under the surface, shape or texture of the objects to what lies under and beyond. 

One thing Keiko admires in Australian culture is the strength of lives in sometimes harsh environment but still able to see the humorous side to it.  Only strong people can do that.  

“Bukimi” is a Japanese word meaning “mythical”, “strange”, and “eerie”. 

By using a large format camera (8x10inch), it helps to explore and concentrate on the essence of the subjects under the surface.  With the aid of Keiko’s imagination and the technical characteristics of the large format camera, the images captured leads the viewers to another world beyond reality to an imaginary world.  What messages can you perceive from these photographs?

Viewers may recognize what the photographer sees, or they may go further into their own fantasy world triggered by Keiko’s images.  Keiko’s only humble wish is for the viewers to have her photos popping up in their minds when they go through their lives. 

Just as a side note, most of the photographs are taken from 45min to several hours of exposure (with natural light).  An interesting question is, do the photos show traces of time trapped in the images? 

Keiko Goto with 8×10 camera.

‘Keiko Goto has a special personality 

Warm, fun and spiritual – this reflects in her work making it stand apart.  The hand-crafted processes chosen perfectly to match each of the series. Her proficiency in both cyanotype and silver gelatin is like all crafts take time and careful repetition.  The photographic capabilities to work in the night sky and then to the macro world with such competence is impressive. 

The blues of the Night Jewels create a magical feel. Not only has Keiko has photographic camera capture skills but a vision that goes beyond the norm transporting you into her mystical world. Cyanotype is commonly used as a printing method, a stable process widely available around the world. Rarely will you see this printing perfection that elevates these photographs to a new level. As a tutor of this process, I am in awe of the perfection presented to us by Keiko.

Bukimi – What a total enchanting series. The still life work is far from still – these are alive, fun and in some case, very endearing, some sensual, some creatures from another world. Again, the skills of this photographer are clearly working to give total control on a 8 x 10 camera analogue film camera. The depth of field and rendition of texture meticulously represented in the silver gelatin printing process.’ Ellie Young. Gold Street Studios. 

‘I met Keiko Goto several years ago when she was looking for a lab to print large size cyanotype photos. 

However, it may be better to introduce myself first. I have been running a small lab called Tamura Photo for a very long time.  In the past, I used to print Type C color films, develop B&W films and print silver gelatin photos.  Since 2010, the wave of digitization forced me to shift my focus to the classical techniques of alternative photography.

After the initial workshop on large cyanotype prints, I got to know Keiko further during the 8×10 Tokyo Exhibitions and talking to her online between Japan and Australia due to the Covid restrictions.  I was drawn to her stories of her experiences in Australia, Sakhalin and Japan.  I am most amazed with her positive personalities. 

This exhibition consists of two themes, B&W prints, and Cyanotype prints.  One is the plant portraiture using large format 8×10 camera.

In “Multifaceted 1”, it looks as though the nut is just about to say something, and in “Life 1” the potato is trying so hard to live even though it is getting very old.  Each subject is exhibiting its own expression and can be understood within its own individualities.  However, it can be viewed as being the resistance to the standardization of modern society, or the power of life trying to carry over to its next descendants.

On the other hand, the Cyanotype prints of the blue nights and the starlight, give us illusions that we may have seen in our dreams.  In “A House in the Outback”, somewhere in the past one can imagine a scene hearing footsteps late at night in a dark alleyway of a foreign town. 

These mysterious feelings awake and connect to my memories and help to recall and rejuvenate.’ Masami Tamura, Tamura Photo 

Tacit Art. Collingwood. 26 October – 12 November 2022.

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Keiko Goto is a Brisbane based fine art photographer.

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