Documentary photographer and photo book connoisseur Dan Milnor spoke with…
I think we need some magic in here today, and I think Hiroji Kubota’s Golden Rock is just the thing. I found this image on photo-eye, and searched and searched to find out its story. And here it is, couched in a New York Times review from 1997 of the Magnum photographer’s show:
“Born in 1939 in Tokyo, Mr. Kubota saw his share of death and suffering
while growing up in a war-ravaged country. He has said that he is a
photographer, not a photojournalist, and that he leaves the coverage of
war and mayhem, corruption and repression to others. ”Out of the
East,” therefore, is a vision of Pacific Rim Asia that is both
timeless, with its images of gorgeous landscapes and the pervasive
influence of Buddhism, and ever-changing, showing the influence of
Western architecture and popular culture and Western-style economic
The show’s most arresting image is not of stunning economic change but
of a huge rock, revered by Buddhists and covered in gold leaf, that
perches on the edge of a high mountain in Myanmar. Mr. Kubota shows the
sheer magic and power of the rock by cropping off its top. This golden
precarious wonder sits dead center against a deep blue sky, its
imposing size contrasted with six (small by comparison) crimson-robed
priests kneeling to one side of it and the low dark hills below.”
Everyone needs a golden idol to worship. Me, I have a pig.
Come to think of it, I also worship a very special gold sponge.
You know what’s next: send in your golden idols, folks!