Katsumi Omori
The Sound of the Mountain - sounds and things vol.3

Dates|Thursday, October 20 to Sunday, October 30, 2022
Venue|MEM  map
Open Hours|12:00 – 19:00
The gallery is closed on Mondays that are not national holidays. (When Monday falls on a national holiday, the gallery is open and closed the following day.)


We are pleased to announce a photo exhibition under the same title as Omori Katsumi’s first book of essays, The Sound of the Mountain, published by PRESIDENT Inc. this year.

This exhibition is the third installment of Omori’s sound and things, in which Omori augments his photographs of people, objects, things, and various other motifs encountered in daily life. This project questions the “boundary between the visible and invisible” and the “meaning of time.” This a continuation of his series from 2014 and 2015, which has since expanded to include photographs taken by a smartphone.

The exhibition space is divided into two rooms; each will hold photographs taken using contrasting techniques. One room will feature photographs taken from everyday life, while the other will feature large, stretched photographs taken with a powerful strobe light.


To begin with, one takes photos incidentally while doing something else. Life comes first. Let’s say one goes on a picnic on a nice day and takes pictures of friends and family. Or maybe one climbs a mountain and sees a charming flower in bloom and desperately wants to communicate that to someone. Or something like that. That irreplaceable fragment of time sparkles as if to say how wonderful this world is! I exclaim, now, I am alive.

But photography as a tool or as a medium is quite a frightening thing. Regardless of whether moments were photographed or not, there is no way that they all could have been equally irreplaceable. Whether they be my photographs or images created by others, as the number of photographs in the world increases, that irreplaceability is sold at a discount. It is something that I am not at all happy about. I feel like someone is manipulating what I am “seeing” here and now. These circumstances are not sexy at all.

To escape, I go for a walk. When words fail to catch up with the images, I am a photographer if I feel happy and a poet if I feel lonely. As I keep walking, the music rises behind the images and words and passes right by me—two hours, three hours, a little more.

During my walks in Tokyo, I like to stop by the Meiji Jingu Gyoen, not far from Harajuku Station. The park has a large, wooded area that retains the atmosphere of Musashino. As I stand on the bank of the pond and listen to the wind, birds, and insects, various sensitivities inside of me are heightened. I can honestly face my wild intuition while feeling the city’s breathing. Sometimes I can hear the chimes of the Yamanote Line and the murmur of people interweave with the sounds of nature, and I feel like a lumberjack or a hunter who has come to the city for the first time.

We look at the world as if we might suddenly encounter an animal in front of the subway station or in front of the laundromat. The smell of the road after an evening shower, the upside-down world reflected in a glass of rosé, or on the surface of a shimmering river. Ultimately, it is a repetition, but also for the first time. We die and come back to life. We stop, and we walk again.

Excerpted from The Sound of the Mountain, by Katsumi Omori


Katsumi Omori was born in Kobe in 1963. He received the Excellence Award in the 9th Canon New Cosmos of Photography in 1994. His works have been featured in domestic and international photo exhibitions and published in numerous photobooks. In 2013, he was featured in Contemporary Japanese Photograph vol.12, every stroller can change the world (Tokyo Photographic Art Museum). MEM Gallery held his solo exhibition, sound and things, in 2014, and his when the memory leaves you – sounds and things vol.2 in 2015. His recent group exhibitions include Garden of the World (Rietberg Museum, Switzerland, 2016) and Ways of Telling (Tokyo Shibuya Koen-dori Gallery, 2021). His published monographs include salsa gum tape (Little More, 1998), encounter (match and company, 2005), Sanayora (Aiikusha, 2006), Cherryblossoms (Little More, 2007), STARS AND STRIPES (match and company, 2009), incarnation (match and company, 2009), and everything happens for the first time (match and company, 2011). In July 2022, his first book of essays, The Sound of the Mountains, was published by PRESIDENT, Inc.


This exhibition will be held simultaneously with The New Cosmos of Photography 30th Annual Retrospective Exhibition at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. The New Cosmos of Photography is a cultural support project held by Canon from 1991 to 2021. Omori’s works are included among ten award-winning works selected by the public. His debut work, GOOD TRIPS, BAD TRIPS, will be exhibited.


The 30th Anniversary of the New Cosmos of Photography: What Photography Can Do; What Has Been Done By Photography

Dates|Sunday, October 16 to Sunday, November 13, 2022

Venue|Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, B1

Free admission

Organized by Canon Inc.