Deadline is 1. April 2012
Friday, 27 January 2012
milkwithtea will be celebrating its 3rd anniversary in July 2012.
You are cordially invited to take part in the celebratory magazine issue this summer;
Send your three images under the heading
to email@example.com and say a few words about them.
Deadline is 1. April 2012
Deadline is 1. April 2012
Looking forward to this one!
Sunday, 22 January 2012
Looking at your work and activities online I quickly caught the impression that you are very passionate about photography. Apart from 'producing' art yourself, how do you follow this passion?
Really? I’m pleased to hear that. Yes, passion feeds me and keeps me well. I guess, when it comes to photography, almost all my passion goes to making or taking photographs…
Not only do you act as a photographer in your free time, you for instance also work for the music magazine NME. Do you consider yourself lucky that you're able to work as a photographer to 'earn a living', or did you consider this the only acceptable occupation for yourself from the start?
I consider myself lucky to some extent, knowing there are so many music photographers out there who are struggling to get noticed. But, at the same time, I believe that luck only materializes in conjunction with one’s talent and dedication. No, I didn’t consider photography the only acceptable occupation from the start. Having said that, I always had a list of unacceptable occupations and it seemed to rule out everything except creative ones.
Originally from Japan, you are now based in the UK, but appear to continue traveling a lot. How do you evaluate the good and bad sides of being on the move?
I’ve always longed for a life that allows me to travel constantly. There are so many beautiful places to visit in the world. I pin my hopes on my photography now. So far, it has carried me over to Mexico City and Barcelona as well as a number of UK destinations. My creative desire amplifies when I’m on the move. Home is where I lay my cameras. I can’t really think of any bad sides to it!
Would you say that you have a strong connection to Japan both personally and within you artistic work? If yes, how so?
Living and working in the UK, I often ask myself the same question. But I always get stuck before I can reach any plausible answer. It’s probably both yes and no, depending on what I’ve eaten that day. And if yes, it shows in a very subtle way.
One of your favourite cameras seems to be the Diana Mini. What do you cherish most about it? And are there any downsides to it?
I cherish her innate ability to build an instant rapport with other people. It makes my mission a lot easier. Downsides? Hmm… she gets temperamental from time to time. But I love the camera just the same.
You showed work of yours on the exhibition "Barcelona Showcase" in Barcelona this past December. Can you tell us more about it?
I was invited to exhibit and sell my work at Casa Batlló in Barcelona. To my disappointment, I couldn’t sell anything, maybe it was because I had forgotten to put price tags on my work. However, it was a brilliant opportunity to meet other photographers from different countries. Elena Ayllon, a Spanish photographer you featured on your site last year was there too. I recognized her as she spoke to me in Japanese!
Generally, do you enjoy exhibitions? Or do you sometimes prefer to stay the 'invisible man behind the camera'?
I do enjoy them. I don’t mind being invisible myself, but the photos have to be visible to the public. I’m a parent to the photos I took and I want to provide them with the best playground possible. My kids are quiet and shy, but I know they desperately want to come out and play.
Coming back to your work for NME, what do you like most about taking pictures of musicians and at concerts?
Musicians look their best on stage. And there’s an irresistible beauty in them expressing and exposing themselves in front of the audience. It’s a joy to photograph those moments where everything the artist does and lives for make a perfect harmony.
How does this differ from your other activities?
Essentially it is the same as it involves photographing something I love. The only difference is that I have a brief to fulfil.
If you could act as director of photography for a movie, at which film maker's set would you preferably work?
That has to be Yasujiro Ozu’s. He’s the filmmaker I admire most. Unfortunately, he passed away almost 50 years ago, but someday I’d like to make my version of “Tokyo Story”.
Finally, when raising your glass on New Year's Eve, what were you most thankful for when thinking of 2011?
That I could start my professional career with NME. I’ve been reading the magazine since 1997 and it’s my love and passion for music that brought me to the UK. So, it’s like a Glasgow dream come true for me. I was also thinking about all the kind words I received from the people who saw my photographs here and there. Without them, I’d be lost in the loneliness of a (freelance) photographer.
It's about irresistible beauty, take a look at his work.
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
What do you love about art, what do you hate about it?
I love the fact that it helps us unite and gives us the chance to express ourselves creatively via different mediums. It’s a tool for the collective consciousness to share what we're capable of creating. I don't hate anything about it. In fact I don't hate anything, period. I believe that hate is a mere choice and I tend to consciously align with frequencies that serve a higher path.
And why take photographs?
Photographs help me remember and re-live the moments I've cherished more efficiently.
You have some wild images in between your body of work. Where were the majority of your pictures taken?
All over. But mainly in California. My body of work is a documentation of all my travels and adventures and everything in between.
So at some point, one also gets the impression that you seek to take in the exceptional with your camera. Would you agree?
Sure. I try to capture anything that I find to be visually intriguing. The outcome varies.
Is it easy for you to detect where you draw your inspiration from?
It comes naturally but I get most inspired when I create new realities and experiences for myself.
Without any attempt to judge, why would you say do so many people now have the urge to be regarded as 'creative'?
It's difficult to talk in behalf of others and their intentions. I'm guessing it boils down to acceptance and insecurity.
You pick up a freshly developed film, where do you take a first look at the pictures?
In my kitchen, most of the time. I don't get physical prints when I get my film developed, just a CD. So I view them on my laptop.
And what do you drink to that?
Wild child photography, take a look at his work.
Monday, 9 January 2012
What would you say has been inspiring you the most in your artistic work recently: people or places?
Wild places. I dream of the edge of the earth, of islands and countries. People are certainly of interest, but only as a part of those places. Besides, I need complete privacy for taking photographs successfully. Nevertheless, I think I could take shots of people, too, when I’m very inspired by them!
Do you like to talk about art and art pieces, or do you prefer to quietly observe and/or appreciate art?
Most of the time I appreciate art quietly. I don’t like vacuous talks about art and searches for meanings in art. Moreover, I’m even afraid of people who love this kind of talk: it takes away the time one could spend actively engaging in art. In my opinion, one can understand silently. Not everything needs to be discussed, not all things should have a clear and intelligible meaning. There's also just pure emotion.
Is there somebody you discuss your own work with?
Yes, I talk to certain people about my art.
Is there an art form - be it music, dance, painting ... - that you have always wanted to 'learn' professionally, but haven't had the opportunity to yet?
Yes: directing movies. I’m going to learn it.
When was the last time you were very excited and enthusiastic about photography? What was the occasion?
Actually, that occurs constantly. This happened the very last time in late autumn, on a trip to the place I spent my childhood in. When you leave a place being 10 years old, and go back to it when you're 25, something strange happens. A lot of impressions stick to the mind. The old abandoned house. The same old road. The trail. The forest. The water tower… In autumn I was drawing pictures of my summer adventures. It really was like a family idyll. And the camera was guiding me.
How much 'talent' does one need to pursue a certain art form?
I don’t believe in talent, I believe in predestination, leading to the road, which belongs to only you. To me, it is about the heart-warming feeling of anticipation. Talent can dissolve in a daily life. In this way you can create everything you want, but nobody will have to guarantee you to get a final prize.
Do you have a preferred way or technique for taking or developing pictures?
I have a favourite photo camera – the Hasselblad - and a favourite film. When you know your instruments, you know everything. I haven’t stock techniques, this process usually takes place spontaneously. The most important things for me are to feel the object and to catch a ‘wave’ of inspiration: then I can shoot 5 entire films. Of course, colour and light are very important, too.
Have you ever had a moment where you wanted to drop being a photographer altogether?
I have never decided to become a photographer, so I can’t abandon it. My photographs are echoes of the problems that concern me. For me, this is a very good way to achieve goals and to do this consciously. But there are no rules to that: today I see photography in this function for me, but who knows what will happen tomorrow?
Are you working on any projects right now?
Currently I’m working on the international project «FOREST», my first photo book and another new environmental project. I would like to focus my attention on the problems of animals.
And finally, is there a site or gallery you consider a must-see?
I highly recommend people to take a look at this site.
Relating to nature. Take a look at her work!
Sunday, 1 January 2012
Most of your recent photographs have been taken during your travels last summer. Is there a photograph that for you captures your overall memory of your trip(s)?
That's quite hard to say because this summer we travelled to many different places. The place I felt most comfortable during the trip was on Spiekeroog, a car-free East Frisian island. Most of this small island's space is covered with preserved salt marsh. At the spacious beach you find yourself lost in nowhere and feel completely free. The photograph you can see above captures this freedom very well. But I wouldn’t say it is the photograph that captures my memory. If it exists, I haven't shot it yet.
Do you think that one's focus shifts, and the eye is drawn to different things or elements than in "everyday life" whilst travelling?
Well, I would say that whilst traveling you appreciate the places you visit more intensively and consciously, because you're constantly receiving various new impressions. In "everyday life" you largely have seen everything before and you try to look for new interesting motifs, which will inevitably lead to you looking for new places. My focus on the things I want to capture, however, does not change. I know what I'm interested in and which kind of photography I want to do, no matter where.
And what do you find yourself paying attention to the most generally?
I want to capture various forms of aesthetics that I see in "everyday life". It's just about going through the world that surrounds me with open eyes and simply capture (at second glance) beautiful, ironic or paradox situations and sceneries.
If you could single out a season or time, in which you have found yourself to be most productive as an artist, which one would it be?
I'd definitely say that I am most productive during spring & summertime.
Do you think that a painting at times can hold more 'truth' or let's say real elements than a photograph? Or will the photographic medium always win in this respect?
Hmm, that's hard to say. Of course photography wins the aspect of documenting and soberly portraying "reality". This is definitely more difficult for paintings, but in my opinion this is not their task at all. Paintings can also hold much "truth" and at the same time give up "real elements”. Just think of the paintings of Mark Rothko and Bernhard Schultze.
Merely as an observer, what are you more interested in: photographs of animate elements and persons or inanimate objects?
Rough: photographs that show an interaction of man and his surrounding world. Fine: photographs of people in nature.
Do you already have new travels planned? If so, where to and why there?
No, I don't. I haven't planned anything yet. But I definitely want to travel to some European towns soon.
What does your ideal Christmas holiday look like?
Hmm, I probably have a quite cheesy idea of my ideal Christmas holiday, which resembles those awful Christmas ads. It would be great if the whole family would gather in front of the fireplace in an old log cabin in the Alps to drink punch, cook and listen to old records of the 50s together. The days after that: Sliding, hiking, building snowmen etc. And it would snow all the time.
Connected to this: Do you consider yourself, or are you considered to be the main photographer among family and friends when it comes to documenting joint events and activities?
Actually I barely take photos at parties or any "family events". That's why I and the people around me do not see me as "the photographer". Photography has a different function for me. For me, it is not of primary interest to document; it has more importance to me to capture the emotions that motifs have and to hold that moment. Those events mostly don't fit that approach.
What do you love most about your favourite camera?
I have an East German "Ihagee Exa 500" from the 1960s, which has this significant odd smell. Every time I look through the viewfinder I'm always reminded of the corridor in the old apartment house my grandparents lived in for decades, where this smell was ever-present.
Chasing the same things but with different approaches. Take a look at his work!