about the work
Cultivate Cultivate

"Beisaku" and "Cultivate" were made in response to agricultural policies and practices in the U.S. and the major grain shortage that was happening in many parts of the world during the time that I was living in Japan 2007 - 2008.

This catastrophe, due in part to drought and globle warming, was also fueled by the shift of communities away from local farming to purchasing cheap grains from large, subsidized agribusinesses. While the price of grains was unnaturally cheap, it was not financially viable to grow locally, but as the price of grains increased, communities that no longer produced their own food became increasingly vulnerable. In contrast, in Japan, the government has essentially mandated that the national staple, rice, be grown locally. This is what allowed me to see families still working very small rice fields, harvesting manually.

Photography by Hans-Jurgen Bergmann