Namikake A photography project by Arito Nishiki

The southern coastline of Niigata touches the northern part of the Sea of Japan. In that region, several villages had sunk into the sea as a result of coastal erosion—a process called “Namikake” in their dialect.

On this coast, in the darkness of night, it takes a long time to adjust my vision. Once my eyes get used to the dark, images of a big rock, trees, a lighthouse, snow and the sea jump into my vision. The images have always been there in the darkness, but they suddenly appeared to me.

It seemed that the landscape wasn’t there before—it appeared at the moment I shot.

The coastal erosion that occurs in this region repeatedly changes the landscape each time. This erosion is not the demise of something, but rather the origin of something else, something that is newly born. Every flash I make in the darkness births a new form.

When I was in that place, I felt caught between existence and new creation; reality and fantasy. This ambiguity symbolizes that, thanks to erosion, this coast will be forever unstable. My “Namikake” series is based on my feelings during that snowy winter on the coast.

Discover more of Arito’s work here: Arito Nishiki

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black and white landscape photo of iceland fjord by François Mille
© François Mille
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