Subete wa hajimete okoru

Omori has said, “it was pointless to approach photography in the same way as before 3.11.” The earthquake that hit the Tohoku region on 3.11.2011 has had a great impact on both documentary and fine art photography in Japan. Omori’s “Everything happens for the first time” was shot right after the earthquake and first shown at his solo exhibition at the Pola Museum, Tokyo in the same year. In 2013, the complete series was presented at a group show entitled “every stroller can change the world” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.

During these past ten years, Omori has undertaken a project to photograph cherry blossoms, which are a symbol of great importance in Japanese culture. Shortly after the Tohoku Earthquake, he decided to photograph these flowers in Fukushima Prefecture, which experienced the heaviest damage from the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear plant meltdowns. These photographs of cherry blossoms also feature the phenomenon of halation. Glowing blurs of light that bloom across these images and obstruct one’s view suggest an unseen yet palpable presence, such as our collective anxiety, fear of radiation, or even our wishes for the future.
The title “Everything happens for the first time”, quoted from a verse by Borges, implies reality itself is always full of unknown, invisible elements. The photographs of Omori’s trip to Fukushima speak in a revelatory way of the true nature of reality.