Etymologically speaking, “origin” denotes “beginning”, “source”, “birth”, “rise” or “start”. Marcus Garvey, a renowned civil rights activist at the turn of the previous century, said “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.

“Who are we? Where do we come from? Where do we belong? Since the dawn of time, cultures have shared origin myths, weaving an inter-generational chain linking the past to the present. From the Norse cosmology of nine home worlds unified by the World Tree Yggdrasil, to modern-day endeavors in genealogy and mapping one’s family tree, origin stories provide us with a sense and a place of belonging.

Origins allow us to live in the present, with an eye on a future shaped by our collective past. At a time of increased uncertainty and tension on both the interpersonal and global stages, photography’s role in helping us negotiate our daily existence has never been stronger.

For the 4th edition of Tokyo International Photography Competition winners exhibition, we present Origin.


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