A while ago William Milberry went to a flea market in the Hakozaki district of Fukuoka city. Like all flea markets the places was full of old and interesting things from the past. I found an old roll of Fuji 35mm color film in a box of junk. It wasn’t in a canister and was fully rewound, so it seemed as if it had been used.
I couldn’t resist the curiosity and struck up a conversation with the old man running selling the stuff.
William Milberry: 「この古いフィルムはどんな写真が入っているかな。。。」 (I wonder what kind of photos are on this film?…)
old Japanese man: 「さあ、分からん。」 (I don’t really know.)William Milberry: 「気になるから、百円はどう？」 (I’m curious, how about 100 yen?)
old Japanese man: 「（笑）いいよ。」 ((laughing) Sure. )
I took the film home and decided to develop it as black and white in HC110 – a developer which is pretty decent at cross-processing as well as working on really old or damaged film. The film itself was out of control curly, it had obviously been wound up inside the 35mm canister for years if not decades. It came out of the developer almost jet black. I was able to scan two images off of it …
These photos are very intriguing because they offer a little window into a past, forgotten time. I’m very much a follower of the wabisabi aesthetic and accept and enjoy the deterioration in these photos because it was imparted by time. It invites me to imagine the film’s history and journey from some Japanese person’s camera, to the flea market, and now around the world to my home in America.