Silence of Breath : Yoko Naito in Mount Fuji Safari Park
04 February 2013 . Written by Catarina Fontoura
‘Silence of Breath’ was shot in a summer evening at Fuji Safari Park in Japan. Mountains such as Fuji are so large that they create their own weather. According to Yoko Naito, “near Mount Fuji there is often a very strange weather – I could not see five meters ahead of me because of the very thick fog”. This is probably what separates Yoko’s images from other images of animals – the intense fog that helps to create an unreal scenario. The creatures are peaceful yet assertive, they appear to be aware of the strange, silent fog and seem to be waiting for it to clear away.
“I could hear the breath from the animals
They won’t say anything to us.
They stare at us in the silence of breath”
The artificiality of the habitat Yoko photographed, the safari and the fog on that summer evening, make us aware of the unfeeling eyes of the creatures, a sensation that does not leave us until the last picture. The title refers to something not immediately visual – the breath – and this makes us think about our other senses and, certainly, it changes the way we see the thick fog. Because of this title, we can feel and hear the breathing of the big mammals and imagine the fog as an extension of their existence.
Yoko Naito is a Japanese photographer based in New York. Amongst other things, she is concerned with concepts of landscape and nature.
Yoko Naito’s Website: www.yokonaito.com