Shisendo (ND-62)

From the Zen Gardens in Kyoto collection.


Late autumn is a time when many leaves show their final glory before winter. This picture of the garden at Shiseido is one of William’s signature images as well as one of his last, captured while he courageously battled cancer. This trip took place six months after major cancer surgery in which 80% of William’s liver was removed. The first day we arrived in Kyoto, he regretted the fact that he may not have enough physical strength to take any photographs. Feeling discouraged, we came to Shisendo. As soon as William saw the familiar view of this peaceful garden, he was revitalized right away, as if the garden was encouraging him. It was still the end of September, but he obtained permission to use his large-format camera. He probably visited Shisendo three days a week from then, but it wasn’t until the beginning of December that he finally envisioned this composition in his mind. Many people are attracted to this image, not only for the magnificent, intense color of the momiji leaves, but perhaps they can feel something beyond what is being depicted. Without knowing the story behind this image, they may feel something of William’s spirit. In spite of many struggles, we sense his strong will to live through his photography. This image is both tranquil and dynamic. 



P1 (24 x 9 in.), P2 (36 x 14 in.), P3 (48 x 20 in.), P4 (60 x 24 in.), P5 (72 x 28 in.), P6 (96 x 38 in.), P7 (120 x 48 in.)


None, UV

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