The Village

Studio Kura is located in Itoshima, a city inside the prefecture of Fukuoka. I'm not entirely sure if the part where we live in has another name, good ol' Wikipedia says Itoshima is a city, but I feel we live in a village. Studio Kura is definitely in a rural area. Rice fields stretch on in front of our house and beyond them, there are gorgeous blue and dark grey mountains. Every morning and at every sunset, I wonder at the mountains shrouded in mist. Finland is flat like a pancake. This scenery is so new and so amazing. I love the mountains. It's hard to explain them, because in photos they lose their grandeur.

Itoshima has narrow roads and small, traditional houses. Every house looks fascinating and I kind of want to have a look inside, but obviously I can't. I'm lucky I've seen our residence houses and the Studio Kura offices. I love all the textures and materials of the houses. They're all so rustic, so different with each other. The eye rests in new things, I feel. Browns and greys, wood and rock, weather-beaten and sturdy.

We live right next to a quite busy road, so sometimes it's a bit restless with the car noises, but I guess it's fine. Okay, only the sounds of the nature would of course be perfect but I feel like I can't really complain because I get to be here and experience all this. I think this is sort of the edge of the town, with car shops, industry areas and a junk yard. I'm fine with all of this, I actually really like abandoned buildings and empty, overgrown lots. Abandoned houses are actually a big deal for me, I actively search for them. I've found a few here,but they've all been locked tight and it would be too difficult with the language barrier to explain to somebody why I would want to borrow keys to their abandoned house, so I've had to let go of that idea.

I did find one abandoned restaurant with an open entry, though. It was super creepy. I've seen some creepy places in my abandoned house -hunting trips but this was somehow particularly creepy. It's hard to say why some houses are peaceful and some are filled with this dread. But this was like an immediate NO to my face. I went in anyway, because it's rare chance. Despite the creepiness, it was pretty interesting. There were some rooms in the back, a big empty room, another one with a tiny, forlorn shrine, and then a bedroom with an unmade bed. That room was the worst one, with beige and dirty pink colored covers rumpled on the bed, making it look like there was a body lying there. I think I screamed out loud. I left pretty quickly after that.  

I also found an abandoned public pool! Right there, in the middle of what you'd call suburbs in some other country. It was a dream find for me. I've been wanting to take photos in an empty swimming pool for ages. The texture is gorgeous and so is the atmosphere. 

The one thing I love in being in a residency is that you can say stuff like "the atmosphere of this place/space is so different/great" without sounding like a total airhead weirdo. The other artist will immediately be like "yeah, I know what you mean!". 


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