Paul Cupido traveled to the most Northern part of Japan as a form of pilgrimage, hoping to search for an answer of a fundamental question. His works have an exquisitely strong sense of existence, as if the psyche is falling into the darkness and something is trying to tear that psyche apart. In this body of the work, the darkness is trying to devour life, emphasized by extreme contrasts, while the light is momentarily sublimating the objects. Neither of them connects to a definite answer. Paul Cupido named this work “Searching for Mu” and poses the question for the viewers by minimizing information that helps them understand a photograph in the images. This form of composition is not merely an aesthetic choice but represents the question to life itself. Evidence of his pursuit can be found in these works which helps viewers recall their uncertain state of mind.
– RongRong & Inri Jurors Hariban Award 2017
I aim to engage with the world with wide-open senses. My work is about the magic moments of life as well as its inconveniences. I want to take pictures, while forgetting about the process of photography, until I’m saturated with an existential sense of life. Every step I take begins with the notion of ‘mono no aware’: the transience of everything, the gentle melancholy of things, being sensitive to ephemera.
Paul Cupido (Terschelling, 1972) graduated Cum Laude from the Fotoacademie Amsterdam. His work is mainly focused around the idea of Mu (a Japanese term) and goes beyond having to choose. In translation its meaning comes close to ‘does not have’. The accompanying book was sold out immediately, and is on display for the summer at the international photography museum Foam Amsterdam. His work was part of the Belfast Photo Festival, where he won an Artist Residency.