Artist Statement

Abstract - Texture of absurdity

Defenseless in the face of absurdity, not knowing the source of its injury, the land of my spirit suffered a deep wound.
The earth of my heart split open like a sheer cliff, and the bottomless darkness beyond the edge brimmed with emptiness like the depths of the sea. From this void surged a magma that would not be stymied.

Time passed, the magma cooled and hardened, and various textures became visible on the face of the precipice.
Echoes of roars.... fragments of my cries were carved into where the slopes had collapsed.

When all was again momentarily at peace, fragments of memories fluttered through this space like butterflies.
Presently, grass began to grow, and flowers blossomed on the undulating black cliffs and earth below.
I realized that I had seen this landscape before.

There is no answer to how to live.
For us humans with our meager allotment of intelligence, this is perhaps the greatest absurdity of all.
The joy of awakening condenses drop by drop in the twists and folds of an endless loop.

Absurdity is the child of order and chaos. It the evidence that something has been born.
The abstract made manifest through me might be small bugs spit out by absurdity.
Like bugs, there is a reason for absurdity's existence on this planet.


Beyond sight Aesthetic insight

Just as there are infinite gradations between the light and shadow that make up the essence of photography, are there not also infinite forms that exist between living and non-living (organic and inorganic) The more I photograph nature, the more I wonder, how can we, today, perceive these in-between forms.

Even today, many landscapes exist in Japan that symbolize nature worship.
Extending from north to south in a long, thin constellation of islands, the Japanese archipelago is blessed with four distinct seasons and an abundance of fresh water, mountains, and sea. Here, appreciating the beauty of nature is a cultural tradition. I am affectionately proud of the values that have flourished within this natural context: the wabi-sabi aesthetic of imperfection and impermanence; the pursuit of subtle grace; the awareness that humans are a part of nature and are deeply entwined with its dynamics, both consciously and unconsciously. I wonder if this philosophical culture, characterized by empathy with nature, evolved not first and foremost from the natural landscape itself, but rather from the contemplation and perspectives of those who viewed it. 

To take photographs and look at them is to become a witness to the manifestation of events that appear and disappear within the flow of time immemorial.  For me, photography is not a philosophical metaphor for death or the past, but rather a crystallization of the temporal dimension with which human react so vitally, achieved through the medium of light.  It is an action in the fourth dimension, and attempt to step outside the flow of time and grab hold of something to confirm that we live in a world side by side with death.
Beyond mere seeing lies contemplation and communication of the world. Is this not the responsibility of all those who engage in photography?

Beauty and art overcome the obstacles of language and distance, allowing us to experience, express, and share a feeling of respectful awe, as well as the moving realization that human beings exist as just one part of planet Earth.
To me, that is photography.  It is my hope that by building on the concepts of nature that have been passed down across generations in my native country of Japan, we will together be able to sense something, and compose a story.

What is Sensegraphia?

Sensegraphia is a conceptual redefinition of photography, in which the visual aesthetics of the photograph are used to develop and express the sense of nature that enables us to recognize that humans are a part of nature and that we are centrally involved, both consciously and subconsciously, in nature's dynamics. Through fine art, Sensegraphia puts forward a philosophy and creative activities that reestablish the essential unity between people and nature, even within the context of today's highly advanced science and technology.

About the Logo

The design inside the circle is an abstraction of the Japanese characters meaning 'see' and 'feel'. The circle represents both the Earth and the traditional latticed windows of Japan, expressing Sensegraphia's photographic philosophy of using the window of our senses and the metaphor of the Earth to see and feel landscapes as fine art.

Designed by Akira Nakamura -> Website


Eriko Kaniwa is an international award-winning digital artist based in Tokyo, and the creator of Sensegraphia fine art. 
She founded Sensegraphia in 2014 and is aiming to put forward a philosophy and creative activities that reestablish the essential unity between people and nature through fine art. The same in 2014, she began developing a workshop program that applies the potential of photography to aesthetic education. She presented the program at domestic graduate schools, foreign-owned firms, international conferences, and think-tank-style business school. 

Kaniwa spent two years exploring the symbols of Japanese nature worship, after the period of TV program production and the social ventured innovation, which are exemplified in the so-called "eight million of gods" of Shinto. She reflected on how the ancient Japanese viewed their natural surroundings and symbolized it as an object of prayer. Traveling to over twenty locations throughout Japan, she captured images of torii gates built in water, sacred wedded rocks, world heritage sites, and other spiritual landscapes. These images are collected, together with text, in her book "JOKEI - Symbols of Nature Worship, Sacred Places of Japan", which has won multiple international awards as the one of the best fine art photo books in the world. In addition to this book, her other works have received multiple international awards, including PX3, ND Awards, Sony World Photography Awards, IPA, and more.

Also she creates digitally enhanced abstract artwork based on her unique philosophy. Her works have been displayed at galleries in London and New York, as well as at the art fairs and international exhibitions such as Fotofever Paris and Barcelona Foto Biennale.  Also her artworks have been seen in the magazines such as British VOGUE, GQ, WIRED, and has been featured in the London Life Magazine, OPENEYE, NY-ART News and more.

While embracing her great concern over the planet's ongoing sixth mass extinction, she is actively exploring whether it is possible to incorporate these issues into her creative concepts. 


Copyright (c) 2008-2023 by SENSEGRAPHIA- Eriko Kaniwa. All rights reserved.  
All Images on this site are fully copyrighted, may not be used without written permission. 


Share this by email
Enter your search terms below.