KG+ SELECT | 2019 Grand prix

Grand prix
Box Lunch is Ready
Atsushi Fukushima

Born in 1981, Kanagawa, Japan; based in Kanagawa

Artist Interview

© Atsushi Fukushima

Fukushima works as a delivery man in a company delivering lunch boxes to senior citizens. By bringing his camera into this occupational setting he explores themes surrounding an aging society, along with matters of life and death. Fukushima says, “It is actually horrifying to me to stare into the eyes of the elderly. Photography serves as a way to release from me from fear.” Through this series, Fukushima faces scenarios not ordinarily faced in our daily lives, through his images we are forced to confront a different state of existence and some undeniable truths about fate.

Committee Review

Here is a review from the jurors who selected the KG+SELECT grand-prix winner.

KG+SELECT achieved great success with its high-quality exhibition and variety of participants, and it is now being recognized as an international opportunity to showcase the talents of young photographers. A former elementary school classroom provided an unusual exhibition place and inspired artists to be creative in how they used their display space. This year’s participant’s subjects included themes such as old age, homosexuality, couples, and twins. The themes were subjects and situations to which the artists feel close to. A grandmother suffering from Alzheimer's, an autobiographical story, close friends..., almost all of the photographers selected subjects not only close to their hearts but which address topical, social, and highly political problems. It is often the hidden images of violence and outstanding poetry that re-acknowledges our relationships with our world, with time and with others.

Atsushi Fukushima’s work was unanimously selected as this year’s grand-prix winner. His work demonstrates the important potential of photography in the present day - focusing on lifestyles that are neglected despite being an important part of our community, and to raise renewed awareness of them. He works in a food delivery service company, visiting elderly people shut in their homes day in and day out, and he focuses his lens on them. His work speaks about the lives of these people with a great intelligence and sensitivity.

In this way, moderately but decisively, he suggests that expressive activities can and should defend peoples’ way of life. This photography festival provided two distinct things. One is an official selection of photography, rich in variety. The other is a genuine experimental laboratory named KG+, which will create new horizons for Japanese photography. Needless to say that this exquisite balance, between avant-garde and authority, is one of the main attractions of this festival.