European Eyes on Japan | Japan Today vol.9
The series made from present-day images of different prefectures and local cities in Japan under the theme of “contemporary people and the way they live”, from the viewpoints of European photographers. This was one of my proud purchases from Paris Photo this year. I’ve had a bit of an obsession with a lot of the current photographic works coming out of Japan, so it was really interesting to see it from a European visual exploration.
I particularly like the work produced here by British photographer Stephen Gill. He signed my book. In our brief encounter I found him to be very gentle and humble. I think this is reflected in the images he has produced.
Here are some of his words found in the back of the book…
“I had one idea in mind before I arrived in Japan.
I was interested in “early birds.” People like me,
who are normally awake and active in the very early hours of the morning.
I’ve always been an early bird…
I found Japan so inspiring, exciting and visually new,
I couldn’t stop taking pictures at 9:30am,
as I usually would, but kept walking all day until late afternoon.
I tried to allow the pictures to almost make
themselves as they were born out of my daily walks.
With no destination in mind, I explored,
wandered and absorbed the surface of this city,
not knowing what to expect and trying to keep and open mind
without looking for particular subject matter.
As a result, this series broke out of the
“early bird” time parameters that I had initially
set myself and these pictures were taken during all hours.”