“All of life is a journey. What I see is the process not the result.”
Since arriving in New York City in 1999, I have carried a video camera on my shoulder wherever I have gone, always videoing my perspective of the city.
I work purely by instinct. There is no compositional set-up. I aim to capture candid moments in the lives of people, sometimes against the background of a complicated world. A calm within the storm. I film people who may be seen as extras in a city scene, but who are in effect stars within their individual stories. I search for the value and meaning within what may seem to be an insignificant moment. It is perhaps a rather romantic, idealistic view of the present.
People often ask me what I am doing. Videos are my version of a poem or a photographic album. Like a stargazer who observes the universe through a telescope, yearning for answers or a connection with space, I have observed life in New York with my video camera.
Recently I started reviewing over 500 of my cassette tapes. Included are clips of my freelance jobs as well as the recording of jazz sessions, the creation of music videos, profiling construction workers, filming behind-the-scenes of movies being shot as well as pedestrians and vehicles passing by. These recordings have captured the passage of time and I have wondered if it would give us a clue as to our future. I am intrigued by life and the progression of time. Life is so short and soon my time here will be over. I have a desire to capture and celebrate the preciousness of life.
I often see films of New York City from over 100 years ago when there were more horse-drawn carriages than cars, or scenes of Tokyo when everyone was dressed in kimonos going about their daily lives. None of these people are alive today. They lived, time passed, and they passed on. Yet there is a record of them having lived and they come back to life as we review these films. The reflections of their lives remain. It is proof of their existence and the confirmation of the preciousness of life. I am fascinated by these scenes, and I am transported back in time. Even though I was not alive when these photos were taken, I feel a nostalgia for those times and a connection with these people that I never met in person.
It may be the connection between the past, present and future. As soon as I have pressed the record button, the present is already in the past and the future is about to become the past. It makes me recalculate time, so that the Past is the before I was born, the Present is my lifetime, and the Future happens after I am gone. Perhaps these videos are my footprint that confirms my existence and will be my gift to the future when someone will look back at my time and feel a nostalgia and a connection with me. This may be reason for the strong impulse that drives me to continue to record these times.