Masashi Asada(Photographer/Japan)

Masashi Asada(Photographer/Japan)


Masashi Asada

Born Mie Prefecture, 1979.
Won 34th Kimura Ihei Photography Award.
Energetic exhibitor in solo and group exhibitions in Japan and overseas.

I visited Otsu when I was a student. Since that was almost 20 years ago, and as this was my second time in Otsu, I was going to take photos like a fresh sponge.

When you go through town in a car, the glimmering light from Lake Biwa is constantly in your field of vision. You can figure out your location from the subtle differences in the lake surface visible to you. It’s like a natural GPS. Of course, I already knew it’s the biggest lake in Japan, but when you’re actually there, it’s impressive.

Lake Biwa supplies water to the city of Otsu and other nearby towns. It’s also a place where you can enjoy unique meals made from the lake’s fish, also known as the eight delicacies of Lake Biwa, such as the land-locked Biwa trout, the small fish called honmoroko, and the ray-finned fish isaza. But the lake is more than just an integral part of the locals’ life. There are also plenty of activities to enjoy on the lake water in the lakeshore swimming areas on the northern side, like SUP, windsurfing and flyboarding.

One thing I’ll never forget is the beauty of Lake Biwa pearls. Although the business died out at one time because the environment soured, vintage pearls from before it went under still exist, and more recent producers have worked hard to cultivate these pearls again. Lake Biwa creates unique pearls, each with its own shape and color.

This time I produced work where the theme is selfies I took in 17 locations in the city. A ruler is being held in the photographs. The photos represent attempts to take selfies at distances that are impossible with a selfie stick. If I try to explain this form of expression, I guess my words wouldn’t entirely make sense at first. But when I went to the shooting locations, the people there were warm-hearted and always smiling, and they were happy to help.

The people of Otsu, a city that thrives in the embrace of the mother lake, are laid-back, friendly and kind, and that’s an allure that we can’t measure. Whether you’re traveling solo or in a group, I hope you’ll take a lot of pictures of Otsu’s 360° photogenic scenery. That’s the message behind this work I’ve created.