During his many travels in Japan as a photojournalist, the stirrings of ancient Japanese culture have been constantly with Everett. It all began with the discovery of a sacred waterfall in northern Japan, where he immersed himself in its waters and heard the primordial whispers of the earth. The voice was telling him to document the impossible—a distant past that no longer existed to the naked eye.
This was the start of Everett’s search in the remote mountains of Japan and combing the tsunami scarred beaches to find this elusive dreamtime, both in the landscape itself, and in the faces of some of Japan’s oldest, noblest, and almost forgotten families.
Everett will read two passages from his memoir-in-progress that offer the back story behind his stirring wet plate images in which he portrays his subjects as if they walked out of a pre-modern past. He takes us to the tomb of the Emperor Seiwa, who is his partner Junko’s ancestor, a figurehead who lived 1,200 years ago. He will also introduce us to a Yokohama artist who is haunted by his new role as heir to a family lineage on Mount Moriah dating back seventy-seven generations to an ancestor who is still considered one of the Japanese gods.
His evocative writing delves deep into experiences that have shaped his mission to celebrate the guardians of ancient traditions and the spiritual world hidden away in Japan’s pristine nature. To aide him on his journey he has become adept in the Yamabushi mountain ascetic traditions that he continues to follow to this day.
In this Zoom event, he will be interviewed by Liane and answer questions about his journey to reinvent himself as an artist in Kyoto. Everett will also discuss how the writing of Kyoto Dreamtime has flowed out of the often precarious adventures he takes to capture the images of Japan’s little talked about Dreamtime. Audience questions about the memoir writing process will follow.
Everett Kennedy Brown is a Kyoto based American artist, writer and director of the Kyoto Kaisho foundation. After working in the media field and teaching at Tokyo University, he now writes and makes photography books about his exploration of the deep layers of Japanese culture. Everett lived in both Tokyo and the rural Boso peninsula for more than three decades when in 2017, his heartstrings told him that it was time to honor a dream he had since he first set foot in Japan as a 22 year old with knapsack and a Leica camera. He had felt compelled to live in Kyoto. In 2017, he made that dream a reality.
His photographic images are in the permanent collections of numerous international museums. In 2013 he was awarded the Japanese Government’s Cultural Affairs Agency Commissioner’s Award for his activities to promote Japanese culture.
To find out more, see: www.everettkennedybrown.kyoto