There’s a need for Ma in every aspect of our lives

In the past months of the Covid-19 pandemic, every human being had to redefine the space in which they lived, worked and interacted. Giving much of us the feeling of being separated as well as being closed off. In the West, we look at space as creating boundaries, as lines defining edges or borders. What would happen if we could embrace Ma; the Japanese concept of viewing space as a pause in time, as an interval or emptiness? Isn’t it also the silence between the notes that make the music…

In 2019, after my residency at Benrido’s Collotype Atelier in Kyoto, I spend another 10 days in Hokkaido around Lake Kussharo, the home grounds for the Ainu people (the indigenous tribe of Japan). The beauty of nature, as well as the tranquillity and space of the landscape, completely overwhelmed me. This had to be 'Ma', the pause in time.

One can only be inspired by the power of the concept of Ma. It is the nothingness in these landscapes that enables Ma to speak to you. To wander away from the direct visual impression and to fill the emptiness with your own thoughts and ideas.

In this series my images strive to bring openness to the feeling of being closed off, to illustrate that space entails a promise of growth, of happiness, of energy in search of new horizons. A stark reminder that what isn’t there actually provides the ability for everyone’s story to be created. It is those boundaries of space that allow us and all of our ideas, hopes and dreams to come into existence.

Exhibited at IBASHO Antwerp from January 28 - April  / For information or enquiries contact IBASHO
Especially for this exhibition I made a lovely book with all these images in it. There’s a Normal edition of 50 copies and a Special edition in a perspex box of 10 copies