Landscape with a Corpse is a series of images in which Japanese photographer Izima Kaoru merges violence with delicate, feminine beauty. For each spectacle, Kaoru asks his model to reveal their fantasy about a perfect death. He then asks them which designer clothing they imagine wearing when people discover their dead body. Using that information, Kaoru combines the gorgeously styled female models with a morbid final end. However, according to his bio, the images “do not allude to something fatal and irreversible but a kind of elegant and highly aesthetic ceremony.”
First using a long lens, he documents the moment from quite a distance. It’s not always instantly clear what is happening in the scenes, but upon closer inspection, viewers will realize that they are witnessing a disturbing, fictional murder scene. Then gradually, in an additional three or four photographs, Kaoru moves closer to the subject until the final shot is an up-close detailed portrait.
The artist says, “By projecting the viewpoint of the deceased onto the picture, looking down at the beautiful scenery which could be a tragic scene of death in reality, I tried to express my thought: no matter how we die, we will travel up to the world beyond the sky without regretting how we lived.”