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My renewed interest with backyard fruit began in 1993. That year I returned to my childhood home after living in Tokyo for nearly six years. I’d been homesick for simple grounded qualities, such as the pleasure of hanging out in the backyard amongst the fruit trees I had grown up with.
One day in the late autumn, there was a box of ripe fuyu kaki in the corner of my parents’ kitchen, picked from the backyard – some with a leaf or branch still attached. The fruit exuded home-grown charm with their uneven texture and tree-ripened sweetness, which inspired me to photograph the kaki in still-life with my Polaroid 680 camera. It was also during this time my mother began her two year struggle with cancer. The image of pears was captured shortly before mom’s death in October 1995; Fuji apples and figs proceeded in the years thereafter. Through chance and design, Pears became the icon for the restaurant – Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, California. The series then evolved with the sumptuous fruits from my aunt Helen & uncle Ken’s yard, and from friends who share their seasonal bounty as desserts or garnishes.
In February 2005 during the completion of the Backyard Fruit series and show in Healdsburg, my father’s heart succumbed after months of failing health. What began in the autumn of 1993 had essentially been a personal almanac, a means of reconciling and revering life’s cycles. It’s through the camera’s lens and photo illustrating that is my vehicle to articulate a vitality and essence of being.
Backyard Fruit is dedicated to my parents Taro and Nancy Fukumori. It is an expression of the color and flavors of home-sweet-home, nature and human nature, and as symbols of my foundation and blossoming spirit.
Open edition giclée prints are available for purchase / $250 ea Printed on Rives BFK and stitch mounted to French Aquarelle paper.
Image size: 11"x11" – Overall size, 15" x 23"