In the silence of Hokkaido, there is romance
“Hokkaido, the northernmost – and least developed – of Japan’s four main islands is one of the country’s last wild places. I have found Hokkaido to be particularly intriguing – gently seductive, dangerously wild and hopeless romantic. This is where Fan Lee and I had our pre-wedding photography, and our endless romance reflected by Kurt Ahs’s inspiration that he has found there.
There is something mysterious but alluring in the winter Hokkaido landscape. It is visually manifested in the omnipresent interaction snow and earth, and the constantly changing weather and skies. Snow falls, rain drops, and it can be felt in the engaging intimacy of the scale in the unique terrain. There is reverence toward the land, symbolized by the ubiquitous Lake of Kussharo. Furano is often an integral part of the landscape – places to rest, medicate, and perhaps escape the complications and noise of our fast-paced lives. The spectacular night view of Hakodate is deemed to be one of the top three in the world, alongside Hong Kong and Naples.
Till then, Kurt Ahs is one of the few Asian photographers I knew (probably the only and one in Malaysia) who extending overseas photo shoot to a winter Hokkaido. And, he did twice! We were both quite nervous about being photographed under such an extreme climate just in between -20°C to -34°C, with only thin gown and suit. Teeth chattered, bodies shivered, we had tendencies to either pull rictus grins or look away whenever a camera was being pointed at us. We were struggled to open our eyes because of merciless iced wind.
Prior on that, we suffered in choosing and lugging the winter cloths and heavy gowns, while Fan Lee had to wake up in the wee hours for her own D.I.Y. make up and hairdo, where it was probably not professionally done. It was a great experience driving with Kurt Ahs from Kussharo to Hakodate with more than 900-km. We encountered a winter storm, packing with heavy snow and gusty winds at speeds of about 30 mph. Most relentless, we were asked to hop-off from the car, and we did few shots at this circumstance. It was -34°C!
Indeed, we invested to a photographer and locations that given us incredible returns. Kurt Ahs was brilliant at being very professional but unobtrusive. The result is a beautiful collection of photographs and seeing the photos makes us feel like we’re re-living the day all over again! We were both really impressed and grateful for how hard he worked especially under the extreme cold weather and the deliverables are above what we would have expected.”