Pictura Gallery

Single Image Crush | Miharu Micha

March 27, 2024

miharu micha

I spotted an unassuming series of black and white photographs by Miharu Micha during the portfolio walkthrough at the Houston Fotofest this year. They snagged me by surprise. 

My eye combs over the glut of clean white space, searching for the subject. I find that all the information has been pushed out to the edges. This is delightfully disorienting, like an M.C. Escher; I am spatially lost. All the photographs in the series are similar. But it’s good to sit with this one on its own for a minute.

Do I climb down the ladder into the great nothing?
Perhaps I walk out on the diving board to fly like one of Siskind’s divers in the white air.

Clarity comes only when I examine the textures that hug the edge of the frame, and I spot a window in the upper right corner. Then a power line, or a clothesline and a scrap of roof make themselves known. Micha, feeling boxed in by the narrow streets of Napoli, found respite when she began to look up — into the open expanse of the sky.

Micha’s photograph rides the edge in another way, with the use of very high contrast. Stripped of the details that come along with grey tones, her skies are absolutely blank, just about the opposite of a Napolese street scene. She found something. Looking at her discovery, I feel like I did the first time I saw Mario Giacomelli’s high contrast landscapes, the fields of grain that run like typewriter ribbons down Italian hills. I guess you can do that - push it this far to the edge. And how strange and new and graphically beautiful the world looks when it’s offered this way.

-Lisa Woodward

See more of Miharu Micha’s series and flies can fly in Napoli”