Chase My Yellow Kite - Online Photography Newspaper
Spring Issue 2014

雨風 – Six Storms

‘The flow of the morning river is ceaseless, yet it is not the original water that it was. The foam floating in the pools now breaks up, now comes together, and in no instance does it pause for long. The people in the world and their dwellings are also thus.’ Hojoki (12th Century, Japan)

Rain is a common motif in a range of forms, from the films of Kurosawa or Bergman to wood-cut prints, graphic novels and Indian poetry. The fascination with rain crosses both cultures and time periods and, although it sometimes touches on both cliché and metaphor, it is not wholly defined by either

Perhaps this aesthetic indeterminacy has something to do with the nature of rain itself. It essentially surrounds us all the time in the form of water vapour yet only under certain conditions does it manifest itself in the visible form of distinct constellations of water molecules arranged at a point in time and space. It is constantly in a state of coming into being and does not exist in a way that we can imagine it as being a distinct object in the manner of, for example, a rock- something which itself is subject to some of the same processes that are involved in the manifestation of rain but on such a time scale that we are able to imagine it as existing autonomously in a particular place and time.

This series of images were shot at night, using a high-powered flash to highlight the drops of water. The same camera, film and lighting set up were used for each image- the only thing that varied was the nature of the rain itself, as they were all shot during different storms.The resulting images are abstract in appearance but at the same time point to something very real in the complex processes that bought these water droplets into this arrangement in time and space during the split-second inwhich they left a record of their presence on the film.

words and photography by Gareth Johnson – 16/04/14