My journey to Saga started during my preparation in Thessaloniki, as I was collecting tourist information, downloading maps and preparing my luggage with 2 cameras, 2 light meters, 2 flashlights, many rolls of film and many pairs of socks. I arrived in Saga with Mikiko. The Prefecture guided tour was short and excellent. Very soon I was on my own, having to express what I could only imagine while still in Thessaloniki.
I made the decision to work in two, so to say, zones. I would start photographing in the morning, only to stop at about 5pm, when the sun was down. A good meal and almost 3 hours of nap, would give me the ‘right’ for another round of shooting, searching for the other Saga, that one that rolls out at night, with bars, alcohol, teenagers’ voices and careless kisses.
In Saga everything is orderly, clean and ‘beautiful’. Such order is frightening for a photographer who is used to work in the Mediterranean anarchic rhythms. The images seemed to hide; and as if in a hide-and-seek game, I had to discover them, searching through the grass or turning my gaze all around for hours. This method was already known to me from my previous projects. I photograph people, the space and insignificant details, creating a puzzle that once is put together, it allows a story to unfold, a personal journal with images instead of words.
My biggest surprise was the contact I had with the people. With those, who for a few minutes or longer, accidentally or planned, stood before my camera with respect, admiration and sincerity. Way beyond the images, which always have been the tangible result and the excuse to get closer, there is something deeper and real. A precious gift I left behind in Saga. It was the times I shared with Mr. Sadatomi, Ms. Sasaki, Mr. Fujita, Mr. Altug, Mr. Go, Ms. Hitomi, Mr. Kuga, Mr. Nonaka, Ms. Mariko, Mr. Yoshiro, Ms. Minori & Ms. Madoka. Last but not least, Norio and Tome, ‘my family’ in Saga, the reason I will always want to go back.