Artist’s Statement

In June 1999, my father Isao Tohara, born in 1931 (Showa 6), retired from his forty-five year family business. Every day for forty-five years, our family watched him leave for work in his suit. Soon after the retirement, he began recognizing that his health was out of condition.

This photograph was taken one year after his retirement and one week before he received an operation on his prostate. This is his uniform.

In my consciousness, my father would be in active service forever. Although between us, there are differences in our lifestyles, our ways of dealing with social matters and our values, I realized that my father and I have been in the same stream of TIME, and have aged at the same speed. While thinking about it, I realized that my father, who had become seventy-three years old, had a seventeen-year old son when he was my age (then 45) and I wondered what he was thinking about every day.

This series starts from my father's portrait. Since then, I have been photographing people his age. I found that there are an endless number of common topics, such as health problems and anxieties in life beyond the ocean. I photograph people who embrace life and overcome their problems.

Kaoru Tohara