Exhibition “Desiderium” at Latvian Museum of Photography

Opening reception: 15 January 2015 at 17:00

Artist talk: 16 January 2015 at 18:00

Hirohisa Koike (b.1979, Gumma, Japan. Lives and works in Japan.)

Hirohisa Koike was awarded a master degree in Imaging Arts and Sciences at Musashino Art University, Tokyo.
He has exhibited photography in Japan, France, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
In 2010, he was awarded the French Ministry of Foreign Affaires scholarship, and the French region Pays de la Loire scholarship, for working in The Fine Art School of Nantes Metropole, France as an artist-researcher in imaging arts.


“Desire remains in relation to the distantness of the star, entreating the sky, appealing to the universe”
– Maurice Blanchot

The title of this series “Desiderium” is desire in latin, which refers to the star (Latin: siderium; Greek: aster). Blanchot writes about this desire as as “undesirable impossible”, which “remains” as such.

Since the beginning of my career, influenced by American photographer William Eggleston, German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans and Japanese photographer Seiichi Furuya, I was always thinking if there was a place for un-staged snapshot photography in art. I have been traveling a lot especially in Europe with a small point-and-shoot camera, and this became a part of my life. It’s actually the same what I’m doing in Japan. After studying photography for 7 years including PhD, I noticed that ideas for images or strategies for images didn’t make sense to me anymore. Taking photographs should be meaningful here and now, like existence.

I was focusing on my daily life and photograph those fragments of my daily life. But during when I was in Latvia in 2013, I met a girl from Riga, and I fell in love with her at the first glance. However, she had a boyfriend at that time, and it seemed impossible to develop the relationship anyway. Besides that, we were writing each other almost everyday, even though after when I returned to Japan. Then my feelings to her got deeper and deeper day by day, and I was sure I started to “desire” her.

According to Blanchot, the disaster is to be without a guiding star, without any perspective or orientation. Once, I had a guiding star to make a series from the fragments of my daily life, but when I came back to Latvia again in 2014 during the winter and summer time to meet her, it seemed I lost the guiding star. I was taking her portraits, and the places where we went together, but “desire” is not “love”, which didn’t make us united. Like a sky in Latvia at the end of June, you know there are a lot of stars but you can’t see anything as it’s too bright. After all, I lost sight of her.

My photography takes the form of an autobiographic diary, combining landscape and portrait forms to explore what is impalpable and ephemeral around us. These images are visual prose, between a kind of wandering and nostalgia. This series “Desiderium” is made from 45 photographs taken in Latvia and Estonia in 2013 and 2014.

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