Rie – Monograph by Lena C. Emery
Published by Kominek Nov 2016
"Lena C. Emery’s photographs are characterised by their elegance, sensuality and intimation of narrative. They are not realist, because her subjects can be seen to be performing – with subtlety or pronouncement – and yet they are not constructed. Instead they acknowledge that taking photographs and being photographed are true acts – taking a photograph alters reality. In Emery’s work, the effect of the photograph is to engender a moment of intimacy in which the self shifts from private to public." – Lucy Kumara Moore
Rie was selected as one of the most engaging & exciting projects in photography in 2016 by the British Journal of Photography.
“Rie titled after the woman on the cover and whose name means both ‘truth’ and ‘picture’, comes as the culminating result of the ongoing intimate exchange I have sought out with the women in my photographs. I wanted to embark on an inherently female dialogue on the subject of revealing by addressing the idea of exposing ourselves, our bodies as women without allowing an inner or outer surveyor to be present."
On the last pages and written in the voice of a young girl ruminating on the joys of days spent uninhibitedly whilst living in rural Japan during a bygone era, Emery gives into the notion of our bodies being directly bound to the natural world. Excerpt:
...In summer time, once the sun would stay high above the horizon for most of the day, father would take us through the forest, down to Yuigahama beach. For hours my sisters and I would lay there, our naked bodies buried deep in the hot sand, listening to the undulating waves as they touched and lapped onto the rocks. We would watch the last fishermen come ashore, chanting Soran Bushi, their song of gratitude to the wide ocean’s treasures caught that day. Come nightfall, we returned home with the taste of salt still fresh on our tongues and our skin dark, like the muddy brown of a distant river. Oh, how much joy would have been lost on those summer days, had our bodies been covered in these linens then...
Limited edition of 750 copies, signed and numbered. 78 pages. 37 color plates. Contains a short story by the artist. First out of a trilogy of books incl. Yuka & The Forest (2018) and The Tree (2019).
Stockists: The Photographers Gallery London, Librairie Palais de Tokyo Paris, Dashwood New York and Daikanyama T-site Tokyo.