300 Academic Honors
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Photography: Overview

This moment will never come again. It comes, it goes, all in an instant, a life-moment. Because we know how precious that instant is, we press the shutter. Photography is an art born of a passionate love of humanity.

Daisaku Ikeda is an avid amateur photographer with a particular knack for finding beauty and uniqueness in ordinary scenes. He began taking photographs in the 1970s while recuperating from illness, after a friend presented him with a camera and suggested it would be a good change of pace. A series of his photographs has toured some 30 countries in an exhibition titled "Dialogue with Nature."

Ikeda has written: "I am not and never have been a professional photographer and, due to my busy schedule, I end up taking many of my photos while traveling from one appointment to another; sometimes I stop the car for just enough time to take a photo."

Photography is probably the most accessible and democratic popular art form, he says. He describes it as a spiritual struggle, a challenge of capturing the eternal in the momentary. Photographs "mirror the inner depths of a photographer's life." The essays from the series "This Beautiful Earth" presented here offer insight into the poetic and philosophical sensibility of Ikeda's photography.

Ikeda writes, "I would be very happy if I am able to share, to some small extent, my joy at communing with nature, the 'mirror of the heart.' In this hectic age, it is important for us to stop from time to time, take a deep breath, and look closely at ourselves and the world around us." His wish in presenting his photographs, he writes, is that they may offer viewers a sense of hope and confidence.

Ikeda is an honorary member of France's Val de Bievres Photo Club, an overseas member of the Weiner Künstlerhaus (Austrian Artists Association) and an honorary life member of the Singapore Photographic Society.