The Cliff (2023)

Tojinbo in Fukui Prefecture, with its extensive columnar joints and turbulent ocean waves, is a natural treasure of Japan. As well as being a geologically engaging location it is also very much an emotional landscape, laden with mysticism and folklore – from a legend about a monk who was pushed off the cliffs, to a well known setting for classic suspense television dramas and sadly, as a suicide spot.

Kono first visited Tojinbo in 2018 and was surprised, despite its dark associations, to see rows of souvenir shops and a number of tourists taking pictures. After five years of research on this location, Kono discovered that many of the impressions of the place were in fact formed from a chain of unconfirmed and unrelated portrayals, and that these have influenced peoples behaviour and the development of Tojinbo.

With the advent of photography, the distance between fact and image rapidly closed in. Even today, when AI is capable of generating fake images in real time, we continue to have faith in it and can be goaded by images. What Kono attempts here is to open up the uncertainty of the image once again. He connects various materials related to Tojinbo loosely with photographs he shot. Depicting the shifting image of Tojinbo, The Cliff examines the possibility of the image and the things that can be rewritten because of their ambiguity and fluidity.

Limited edition photobook published by Jane & Jeremy is available