Hura’s photobook uses a journey made by his father on a cargo ship up the Mississippi as a foil for his own photography trip.
Hura faced a massive artistic challenge – how to go on a classic American photographic road trip, and find ways to honor that history but also make it his own.
The book opens with a series of snapshots taken by Hura’s father, each documenting the progress of ships on the river amid rain, mist, and heavy boat traffic. Interestingly, Hura’s father never leaves the ship (immigration rules kept him on board), but he sends along cautionary words to his son to “be careful” – the America he envisioned from the ship (and which has been framed by news reports and other media) seemed increasingly dangerous: “Guns, Violence, Racism, Trump, A certain loss of tenderness…”
And while his father looked at America from the water, his son’s journey through the towns along the river was made from the opposite side of the levee, always on the land, and his black and white photographs end up providing a nuanced counterpoint to his father’s simplified worries.