The Planet: Noguchi Rika
"The Planet" is an exhibition catalogue linking together 4 of Rika's project under the theme of our planet earth. The book opens with a series of vignetted and eerie night scenes, the images depict street and car lights which seem to crescendo in brightness up to the second last image, which shows the silhouette of a house at the side of road, entirely over taken by light. The last image in this section cleanses the section of its noise, a simple star trail brings a calming end to the short series.
The caption "I Dreamt of Flying" lead us into a section that preludes the bulk of the book - "Rocket Hill". Here three images of small blurry rockets are presented, the images are minimal and underwhelming. The first two images show the take off of a shuttle from "Rocket Island" and the third shows Rika's homemade rocket propelling through the air."Rocket Hill" Is a series consisting of photographs taken in and around the Tanegashima Space Center, an island complex from which the Japanese space program, launches its flights. The images here are detailed and otherworldly, whilst remaining objective and bleak. The landscapes provide an interesting contrast between the images leading up to this series, emphasising the large scale of the operation required to launch the small, blurry rockets that Rika
depicts against a blue sky.
The next two bodies of work bare the theme of water, firstly with a series of Panorama's documenting the routines of a Chinese Swim team that practice in near freezing public lakes. This section is the most human in the book, the images show that Rika was close with the subjects and highlight the determination and fun side of the human spirit.
Finally the book ends with "Color of the Planet" a series of underwater scenes from the photographers experience diving in the submerged ruins in Yonaguni island, Okinawa. The images in this section are coherent seascapes with deep blue and green tones.
Overall "The Planet" does a good job of linking together the photographers works, which all work well together and form a coherent set of images.