The 20th-century Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitaro walked daily through Kyoto’s natural beauty contemplating the human condition amongst cherry blossoms and streams of crystal clear water. This trail is now known as The Philosopher’s Path and has become a tourist attraction. However for the contemporary philosopher this path is superfluous, an extravagance of nostalgic wandering. Anyone in quest of an understanding of contemporary Japanese life has no option but to thread a new path through the city’s streets, the dense urban sprawl and the consumerist reality that is the new order in an increasingly urbanised world.
David Pisani’s photographic essay traces such a path, random and eccentric, through Kyoto’s city centre sympathetically photographing life as it flows through the streets of the city. Abrupt and accidental but never haphazardous this photo essay speaks of an apparent chaos seeking a fragile balance in the deceptively reassuring order of architecture.