Artist's Statement

George Nobechi

Three years ago, I departed New York City on what eventually became a 990-day personal odyssey, leaving behind broken relationships, my career, home and all my possessions except for my camera and what I could carry on my back; I became “unmoored.” I did so because it was the first time since my father abruptly passed away when I was nineteen that I had the time and space to take stock of my life and dig deeper into my recollections. 

As I journeyed, I made photographs where I felt the presence of everyday humanity and the stillness of natural tranquility. To contextualize my settings I recalled my upbringing in the organized chaos that is Tokyo. From my high rise bedroom window as a child I spent hours upon hours gazing out at the sprawling city below and found a calmness that was elusive whenever I ventured out of the sanctuary of my room. 

I turned once again to windows and looking out from within, where the faintly warm presence of someone who was there but now departed--a concept known in Japan as nukumori—could be felt.

I make photographs in the places where I find these elements--nothing in this series is staged—to capture a still moment in time that recalls something from our past, like a distant, but familiar bell tolling for us to come back and find life here again in the stillness.