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A Japan Memory | Nadirah Zakariya (b. 1984, Kuala Lumpur)
30cm x 21cm (12" x 8"), archival pigment print on Hahnemuele Photo Rag, wooden box frame
Limited Edition of 25
About the artist
Born and raised in Malaysia, Nadirah Zakariya discovered photography at the age of 17 in a small town in Japan and came of age in New York City. She draws inspiration for her works from her varied and multicultural upbringing.
Nadirah is an internationally published photographer with works in numerous publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg, NYLON, VICE, and Dazed and Confused.
Her work has been exhibited in New York, London, Paris and Kuala Lumpur, among others. More recently, she was commissioned by Bloomberg to create an iconic series of images of the 93-year old Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad, upon his return to political life.
Nadirah has taken part in the Art Girl Rising residency at Sepat House, Kuala Lumpur. Most recently she co-founded and co-curated the ambitious KL20X20 Photo Project, which brought together 18 photographers in 8 different exhibition venues in KL.
“forget you not”
Thirteen years ago, I spent one year in a small town named Haibara in Shizuoka, Japan. I lived with a Japanese family and attended a Japanese high school. I was seventeen and did not speak a word of nihongo.
I remember wanting to photograph nearly everything and anything with my mother’s point and shoot camera. It was the year I discovered the magic of photography. Little did I know that it was a pivotal point in my life.
I decided to return to Haibara for the first time since. It was as if I am transported back to 2002. Almost nothing has changed, the scent, oh, especially the scent. The warmth in the cold, the ocha cups, the crooked painting in the study still crooked, the taste of Okaasan’s miso soup, almost everything remained as is. Almost. Obaachan left us, along with her strawberry patch in the backyard.
This is a series of photographs of my revisiting the place where I spent an entire year of daydreaming in a small town that treated me like one of their own.
Okaasan : mother, Otousan : father, Obaachan : grandma