Air And Water: Ryota Kajita’s Ice Formations
Japanese photographer Ryota Kajita has spent the past eight years capturing the patterns formed by ice in the lakes of Alaska—the result is ‘Ice Formations’, a collection of images devoid of both self-consciousness and ego, taken simply of water and air.
Inspired by the stories of Japanese wildlife photographer Michio Hoshino, who traveled to Alaska and wrote widely about his experiences, Kajita moved to Fairbanks in Alaska in 2005. Here he completed his MFA in photography—it was the easiest way, he explained in an interview with Lenscratch, to remain in the country. This change in career and continent inspired him to look at the world differently, so rather than simply imitating the work of his hero Hoshino he developed his own style of documentary photography. Eschewing a desire to capture the vastness of Alaska, Kajita decided to concentrate on things a little closer to home. In ‘Ice Formations’ he has captured the natural way in which ice forms on the ponds, lakes, and rivers of Fairbanks. The bulbous forms beneath the surface of the ice are actually frozen bubbles, methane and carbon dioxide trapped while rising to the surface of the water. In this series, Kajita seems to gently imply that beauty is everywhere—if only you take the time to look for it.