Shelley Jacobson’s SEA OF TREES is now part of the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive

Sea of Trees

Title: Sea of Trees

Photographer: Shelley Jacobson

Date of publication: 2011

Place of Publication: New Zealand

Language: English

Dimensions of book:  210 x 148 mm

Number of pages: 16

Edition size: 50

Publisher: Self-published

Design: Shelley Jacobson

Summary of Project:

Sea of Trees (2010) depicts the forest at the base of Mt Fuji, Aokigahara-jukai, focusing on the location’s status as a popular suicide landmark. In addition to the dominant reputation of the forest as a site of the horrific, the forest offers a unique ecological environment, as a forest that grew upon a volcanic plateau post-eruption. The forest is home to a number of nature trails.

Given the site’s ‘horrific’ reputation there is the issue of spectacle in depicting it photographically. To address this I employed a system for making photographs, photographing every 100m; creating one set of images within the forest, one from the forest’s border looking outward at the bordering highway. The tiles of the works include fragments derived from web searches about the location, passing between Japanese and English using an auto translation tool.
The result are dual works, in the form of vertically stacked diptychs. The resultant works are best viewed in series, with the viewer able to read them both horizontally and vertically, their dialectics of inside/outside visible.