In November 2014 I started portraying the native horses of Japan, visiting Nagano prefecture for the Kiso horse, a breed that was almost wiped out on orders of the old Imperial Army During the Meiji era (1868 -1912) who ‘wanted to improve the breed’ of Japanese cavalry horse.
All but one of the eight still existing breeds remain in very low numbers.
Confined to small islands most breeds have never been able to migrate.
In some cases they have become the emblem of their location like the Yonaguni horse that is depicted together with the world largest moth-also native to Yonaguni- and the marlin on the manhole covers of this small and most Southern island of Japan.
Four of the breeds are featured in the book Work Horse that was published by The Ice Plant in LA in 2015.
The photographic series on four of the breeds were presented at De Pont museum during the solo exhibition Work Horse in 2015/16.
Harper’s Magazine ran a 12-page photo essay on the horses of Miyakojima and Yonaguni islands in their December 2015 issue.