Photographer Shinya Masada is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay. From the project ‘HANAFUDA SHOUZOKU’. To see Shinya’s body of work, click on any image.
My work consists of eccentric colors and decaying subjects. By merging odd motifs, I wish to create the harmony, stimulation, and solemnity at once.
The decayed foods depicted in the work are the gifts from my mother; one day, I unintentionally spoiled a box of fruits and vegetables that my mother had sent from my hometown, without even taking them out of the box. I stared down at the rotten veggies lying in the box, which now became their coffin. The sight pained me, but at the same time, it reminded me of the words my late grandmother used to say: “all things must pass.”
Once their time in this world has passed, all life loses forms. While recognizing that providence, I also yearned to capture the afterglow of love that my mother must have sent along with those items.
The decayed subjects are combined with the motifs that are originally from Hanafuda, the traditional Japanese card game consisting of a deck of 48 cards, which are divided into 12 suits of 4 cards each. Each suit represents a month of the year, characterized by seasonal flower or plant of that month.
The grandmother who taught me the concept of impermanence is also the one who taught me how to play the game of Hanafuda.
All images & text © Shinya Masada
By Shinya Masada