I had an urge to be apart of something. I figured that’s what we are meant to do, as creatures we all conglomerate towards each other with varied similar interests, longing to belong. searching for soul mates, deep friendships, meaningful relationships of any kind, we humans crave it. as appealing as being hikikomori sounds, they’re still communicating to others via the internet. realizing I had no community, I felt obligated to join the bigger picture somehow.
I met a friend involved in the tokyo art scene as an aspiring art director, working at galleries. suddenly some opportunities arose and I decided to push myself to accomplish something. what, I didn’t know. I knew I needed deadlines or I would never get anything done. everything else was up in the air. I kept putting off picking out what photos I wanted to submit to the independent artist exhibition. a week extension, a week more procrastination.
I finally forced myself to view my collection. I picked out what I was drawn to, and narrowed it down. I picked similar color tones and an atmosphere that made me feel a vague nostalgia. the images began to tell a story together. they were taken over the span of a year, but together they told the story of an alternative future world in one day. they were of mundane images of tokyo, that japanese people ignore every day. I was fascinated with the city as an outsider. I thought my story could show that tokyo isn’t always what it seems, that if you change your mind, there is another universe right in front of us. I liked the images on their own, and I liked them even more as a storyboard to a sci-fi anime from a past future. such as a retro 1950s nuculear family prediction that we have already surpassed (2010 and no flying buicks, sorry, ’50s) I named it “retro neo tokyo”. a new tokyo future from the past. an alternate story telling of tokyo. to make the mundane exciting, to bring attention little details that I hoped japanese people could look at closely and re-examine.
I used to say “I’m not boy crazy, I’m romantic possibility obsessed”, as my clever defense against other’s mislabeling me “boy crazy”. their lack of understanding why I always be instant-crushin was a thorn in my side and a misunderstanding of my character. it’s true though, that I am on a constant crusade for a connection, a heart-skip moment, any eye-contact that results in sparks, an accidental brush of the hand that creates shivers, and excitable night conversations that go on for so long the morning light makes us realize we must stop exchanging words so our bodies can recharge since we’re not immortal (unfortunately).
So when I hone in on a cute boy across a crowd of disgruntled, sweaty sad faces, I am merely anxiously awaiting for the butterflies to hatch in my belly and flutter around, hoping our pinkies are tied with an invisible red string that only fate can tug at. there are many variations of romantic exchanges, from subtle secret moments to full-blown once-in-a-lifetime epic tales that are retold again and again in movies and supermarket pulp novels. I want to experience the whole spectrum.
color catches my eye. light, shapes, textures, reflections, shadows, something off, something alone, something empty. the things I like to take photos of always involve one of these aspects, but they always start and end in color. I’ve noticed when I edit photos now, I try to color correct based on emotion. “how did it feel in my memory as I took this” is how I decide which adjustments to change.
it’s winter, it’s cold. it didn’t feel that cold outside, but when I think of winter, the light is dim and cool. let’s make the shadows blue and the highlights orange. compliment colors, for a light contrast. lower the saturation, but don’t make it muddy. my blacks have all been void of depth lately. I think it’s a style choice, a photography fad lately. but the underexposed images feel closer to a foggy memory and becomes instantly somewhere you long to be, in the back of your mind. you might be able to feel like the image was something you really saw but can’t exactly recall.
saturday I rode my bike around, chasing shadows and light. I bundled up for late november but once I stepped outside, it wasn’t chilly out at all. in fact, it was a perfect day. it was like a late seattle summer, cold for californians and maybe too hot for pacific northwesterners. I was in 2 places at once. it reminded me of the home I left behind for the home I always held in my heart. I rode around my neighborhood searching for interesting shapes the sun created in the early afternoon. Sunday I was going to have my first test shoot with a japanese male model in training. my first test shoot since the moment I decided to deem/label myself a “photographer”.