Twenty 420 x 197mm prints, Indigo printed on FSC® certified 300 gsm Munken Lynx uncoated stock.
Each numbered print is individually wrapped in a semi-transparent sleeve, printed with redacting lyrics from ‘Do You Know Me Now’. Edition overlay sheet is signed by the artists, embossed, numbered and comes housed in a black fluted corrugate portfolio. Designed by Giles Dunn at Punkt, London.
Earlier this year David Sylvian travelled through America’s desert states in the company of his close friend Yuka Fujii. He had explored much of the landscape before but, as he points out, it’s frequently refreshing to witness the world through another person’s eyes. When arriving at a place of interest they would stop for a day or so to take in the landscape. One such break unexpectedly produced a short video, shot as a trailer for the track ‘Grains (Sweet Paulownia Wood)’ from the album To the Moon and Back – A Tribute to Ryuichi Sakamoto.
The success of this minor piece spurred the two on as they continued their drive, culminating at Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch. There they shot material for what became the short film ‘Do You Know Me Now?’, which comprises many still images taken by Sylvian and Fujii.
Sylvian’s focus was the landscape and, as has so often been the case, Fujii’s primary focus was Sylvian. He hadn’t been photographed in many years but Yuka’s presence was always, and remains, discreet. As Yuka happily attests, Sylvian is not, nor has he ever been, comfortable in front of a camera. Sylvian has stated he'd like to think the portraits captured will be the last ‘session’ he'll undergo. By session, he means a series of related portraits stamped with time, date, and location. He confesses that this volume contains some of the most intimate late portraits of himself. They capture something of the interior life of a relatively solitary soul. As one reviewer of the box set Do You Know Me Now? put it, a man in the process of performing ‘a disappearing act’. While not exactly true, it’s perhaps close enough.
As it was out of season, the small pilgrimage site we visited, nestled high in the desert mountains, had few visitors. In the souvenir shop a postcard caught my eye. It was like a compass pivoting, indicating a particular direction to be taken. Later, guided by magnetic pull, we found ourselves driving through layered rocky mountains where a magnificent ancient landscape opened up and enveloped us. Without these photos and video clips – this evidence of personal experience – I might now wonder if this was a dream or reality.
Looking up I saw the clouds depicted in David’s recent photographs. Seen from my perspective, it was the most distant, illusive subject matter, one that, while constantly changing, resonated with his emotional state: his vagabond heart, bleached clean as sheets, thoughts un-erratic, multi-dimensional, ever evolving in a blue sky.
If you open your arms wide, you may receive unexpected gifts from the heavens. This is how we came to create the video for ‘Do You Know Me Now?’. The Perfume Of Wealth is another gift that David has produced in collaboration with Giles Dunn, the designer of his innovative photography book ERR. He shares these works with us, weaving fragments of his lyrics into them.
The question posed in his song evaporates in the desert air.
yuka fujii, Sept 2023