July 20, 2008

Borrowed Vision

This image was captured at Sofukuji Temple in Nagasaki, Japan. It offers a view of a sign, written in faded and blurred Japanese characters on a brilliant red background. I spied this sign beyond a closed gate with a symmetrical cutout opening in the door. From my angle the sign completely filled the view through the opening.

I'm not sure why I found this image so captivating but it is one of my favorites. I like the grain of the wood in the gate and the rugged split to the left of the opening. I also like the opposing lines in the wood of the sign beyond. The contrast between the painted wood that offers a worn message and the rough wood that is cut in an elegant pattern somehow speaks eloquently to the relationship of ideals and realities of life I see as I travel in Japan. The view is at an unexpected angle but offers tension and balance in color and texture as well as a challenge to rightly perceive which elements of the photo are in the forefront and guiding our perceptions.

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