2024  The ‘ai’ series.2001-2021.  Simon Armstrong
2023  ‘ i ’  Takuji
2023  ‘ i ’  Akiko Kimura
2016  ‘Artist Statement ’   Akiko Kimura
2014  ‘ i ’  Akiko Kimura

2024「 i 」2001-2021 サイモン・アームストロング
2023「 i 」Takuji
2023「 i 」木村朗子
2016「アーティストステイトメント 」Akiko Kimura
2014「 i 」木村朗子
2005「 i 」木村順一


2024   The ‘ai’ series. 2001-2021.

Simon Armstrong
Head of Book Sales & Buying at Tate


The serene photography of Akiko Kimura reminds me of Rothko paintings and should probably be experienced that way, as contemplative images to give pause and spend some time having a stare and a ponder.

There is a horizon in each picture, a 50-50 split, an above and a below. This has a natural appeal to human eyes, because at heart we understand there is a harmonious doubling of all phenomena, a ying and yang, a day and night, sky and sea.

All things have a shadow or a compliment, and these opposites mutually arise. Recognising that any two apparent polarities are actually one, allows us to remember that everything, all things, are ultimately one.

As the composer Takuji explains in the book: The series name of these photographs by Kimura is the sound ‘ai’ – meaning ‘I’ in English and ‘love’ in Japanese. The essence of ‘I’ is love, which exists without boundaries and continually expands.

We should attempt to expand our idea of the self as an atomised ‘individual’ and expand outward and keep going. Looking at these pictures might help us get on the path. x

2024 「 i 」シリーズ。 2001 年から 2021 年まで。

テート美術館     書籍販売・購買責任者








2023  ‘ i ’  

Guitarist – Composer

Akiko holds a mid-range film camera vertically,
closes her eyes, then releases the shutter.

Once she releases the shutter, the shot is complete.
She doesn’t usually take another, and leaves with a sense of gratitude, giving thanks for what she has received in that moment.

When I see her work I get the sense she was praying for or worshipping something and can feel her positive affirmations that show a respect for what she has captured.

She does not feel comfortable altering her original images.
She does not trim them or manipulate the colors.
In this book, the 46 pieces are arranged in the order in which the images were selected for the series.

Akiko says, it’s like I am receiving something intangible which is scentless, invisible, and limitless.

Just like musicians choose their instruments with the aim of creating music to resonate with the world, a photographer can choose a camera to resonate with the landscape and invite people into the “world of photography”.

With Akiko’s work I find her “experiencing” rather than “taking photos” and feel a certain “honesty” in her relationship with her medium.

I wonder how many hurdles there must be in the process of retaining this “honesty”?

However, in front of the artworks presented by Akiko – who embraces and moves beyond these hurdles – we find ourselves standing at the entrance to another side of the world.

Regarding the series title, the sound /ai/ is the word “ I “ in English and “love” in Japanese.
The essence of “I” is love, continually expanding and existing without boundaries.

Akiko will continue to share her experiences with us to resonate this beautiful world.



「 i 」
ギタリスト – 作曲家














2023      ‘ i ’  Akiko Kimura

Every time I look at my artworks, I’m provided with new ways of seeing them.
It’s as if they are a mirror allowing me to encounter myself afresh each time.

I like to think this allows my work to be re-born again and again whenever my photographs are experienced.

With my work, I am happy when I feel there is nothing, but at the same time everything.

2023 「 i 」木村朗子



そして作品は、鑑賞者が「観る」たびに、新しく⽣まれ変わりながら存在し続けているのではないか? そう思っています。


2016      ‘ Artist Statement ’   Akiko Kimura

In my work I wish for people to not only see the visible reality
but also to feel something invisible.

2016 「 アーティストステイトメント」木村朗子



2014      ‘ i ’  Akiko Kimura

The title of 「 i 」is derived from the Japanese ‘Ai-ilo’(藍色;Ai-color) and is also taken from the first letter of indigo.
Indigo is a Japanese traditional dye with a simplicity and beauty that helps to stimulate our imagination.
Ai-ilo is a natural technique for dyeing and is in itself a recognized color. Japanese people know it as “Japan Blue”.
In this indigo dyeing process, different shades are created based on the number of times the material is dyed.
These colors are beautifully named Kachiiro(褐色),Kon(紺)、Ai(藍)、Noshime(熨斗目)、Hanada(縹)、Asagi(浅葱)、Kamenozoki(瓶除き).
Ai-ilo is not only the color “blue”, but shades representing the blues we can see in the sea, the sky, even the shades of trees and therefore nature itself.
I originally started this project looking to discover an untouched view of the landscape for all.
After developing my work through photography, I set out in pursuit of an Ai-tinged world.
I have captured my Ai-world in New Zealand, Alaska, Iceland, Finland, Croatia and also in various regions of Japan on film with a medium format camera.
When I began taking pictures I did not realize how horizontal lines of the horizon became more frequent in my compositions.
Once I looked at contact prints and remembered the words of my grandfather.
“Contradictory things in the world are all connected with each other. Light and shadow, day and night, top and bottom, life and death…”
After internalizing this thought I paid even more attention to the line which divided my works right in the middle.
Later on, the horizontal lines began to disappear from my pictures.
Light and shadow, day and night, top and bottom, life and death… the conscious division only took place inside my head but time after time I began to consider that everything is actually an entity.
The shades of Ai-ilo lead us to my favorite phrase,
“Treasure every encounter, for it will never recur”(一期一会;Ichi-go ichi-e).
This is a metaphor that can be attached to nature itself.
There is no homogenous green in the natural world, every year the trees and flowers grow and bloom differently and present us with a new experience time after time.
I feel the process of taking and looking at photographs is, in essence, the same.
That I am here and can experience the light that surrounds me is because of nature.
Without nature I could not exist and this simple realization and pleasure is what I try to capture on film.
The viewer brings their own experiences to the work allowing them their own natural interpretation without any forced direction.
The pictures come alive through the mind of the viewer and the varied and individual experiences they bring to them. This is also true with time, as time brings new experiences and therefore new ways of seeing.
I like to think my work is re-born again and again through each viewer’s interpretation.


2014 「 i 」木村朗子

作品タイトル「 i 」は、「染め」の材料である植物、藍‐indigo の頭文字からとりました。
光と影、昼と夜、上と下、生と死・・・ 境界線をつくっているのは自分であって、そもそも全部ひとつなのでは? と思い始めた頃です。


2005 「 i 」木村順一