Midori Mitamura


Green On The Mountain




Exhibition  "On Happiness" 2003

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.


Traveling solo exhibition in Fainland   2005

Photographic galley Hippolyte/ Helsinki

Finnish Northern Photographic Center  / Oulu

Photographic Center Peri/ Turku

Solo Exhibition 2006

Secession / Vienna, Austria 2006


 Solo Exhibition 2012

Project Space Uqbar  / Berlin 




展覧会「幸福論」2003 東京都写真美術館

ウィーン分離派館 ゼセッション /  ウィーン  2006

フィンランド巡回個展 2005

プロジェクトスペース・ ウクバー /  ベルリン 2012






 Green on the Mountain

By chance, an old negative from Europe came into my hands.
I would guess it is a good seventy years old.
It is an afterimage of the daily lives of ordinary people in, I think, possibly Belgium.
Whether they might still be alive I have no way of knowing.

A group, apparently a family, is stretched out in a pasture, with mountains (the Alps?)
in the background. It looks to me like it must be a travel photo of a happy family.
 Or perhaps they only appear that way?
 No, they are happy, without a doubt.

Of course, I have no way of knowing whether it is really a portrait of a happy family.
The memories recorded on that film are not mine but of an
unknown family-memories of long ago, long dimmed.

There may be secrets between the family members that do not appear on the surface;
some may have been concealing, deep within themselves,
painful feelings or a sense of futility. Who can tell?

But assuming there really were people who existed there,
in truth, there is no way to tell whether the person beside you is happy,
or what that instant of theirs, captured on film, glowed, I am sure, with vivid greenery and blue skies,
even though it cannot be seen in a black-and-white print.

The times of a human life when one feels one is happy,
 no matter how brief or how long, are only momentary flashes amidst the vast flow of time.
The emotions that the events of daily life give rise to cannot, by and large,
be recorded but live only within our memories.

Still, if even a moment of happiness glows strongly within one's memories,
would one not feel, at the end of life, that it was a happy life?                       
Perhaps the memory of that happy moment, shaking off time and space
simultaneously as we take leave of the flesh,
glows on, an eternal memory existing in a different dimension.

I have no way of knowing even if the people in the photograph ever saw a print of it,
but my hands would give the faint surviving images, their hues all but lost, a hint of color.

Now this moment too may continue to exist on another plane,
 traveling along the time dimension of memory.





三田村光土里 2003