Kentaro Takahashi_portrait

Documenter la mémoire

Chapter 1_ Passing memories, Portrait of Kentaro Takahashi, photographer

From « A red hat  » by Kentaro Takahashi
Kentaro Takahashi, illustration by Lively studio

Kentaro Takahashi est photographe, et plus particulièrement « documentary photographer ». Il saisit les instants de vie et les histoires.

J’ai découvert son travail dans le magazine « Tempura », et j’ai tout de suite accroché avec la profondeur de son style. Quelque chose de touchant dans ses images, qui laisse transparaitre l’envie de raconter quelque chose.

Un univers que j’ai eu envie de comprendre, et j’ai été ravie lorsque Kentaro accepta de répondre à mon questionnement.

Découvrir ce qui se cache derrière l’objectif m’a donné des clés de lectures importantes pour re découvrir son travail et donner un nouveau sens à ces images.

A travers les images de son livre  » A Red Hat »,

Avec Kentaro nous parlerons de son parcours, et des évènements qui l’ont poussé vers la photographie, de ses inspirations et de ce qui le touche dans les sujets qu’il aborde.

Documenter la mémoire

_Portrait of Kentaro Takahashi, Photographer

Where are you from? and where are you going next ? ( next project, next step…)

« I am from Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. I am heading for Hokkaido and Okinawa, the northern and southern part of this country Japan. »

What inspired you to choose this career/path and how did you choose photography as your medium of expression? 

« While I was in my third year in university, the big earthquake that took place in the Tohoku area of Japan occurred. After the incident, explosions from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, tsunami swallowing the town and people, I understood how nothing can be taken for granted as everything in this world is ephemeral and never lasts forever.

That is when I figured I needed to record things around me, people who I meet casually like my friends and family, what I eat, what I saw and that became some kind of hobby at first.

And like after 3 months or so after buying my first DSLR camera, I met Andreas Seibert, a Swiss freelance photographer who was based in Tokyo at that time and it was then when I found out that photography could be some kind of profession. So the inspiration was basically from him at first. »

Do you practice any other forms of artistic expression beside photography?

« No, though I wish I did music… since that is where my energy comes from, like listening to music, going to live concerts(which is very difficult for the time being). »

What kind of things in life attract your attention?

« Following my answer from the previous question, listening to music is one of them. From Japanese rock, alternative folk rock, classics and such. They sometimes give me clues to my photography also and it obviously is an important motivator.

Also, social issues became my concern as well. They aren’t attracting me but I feel that a lot of things happening are related to me in someway and that someday, any issue can come up knocking on to my own door. In order to prevent that from happening, I want to be always aware of what is going on in this society and want to be thinking for ways to solve matters which I know it isn’t easy, but still we need to think, is my stance. »

How do you pick a subject for your projects? 

« Social issues that are happening is always something that I consider from. »

What inspires you?

« Music for sure as I mentioned, but novels too. Novel writers like Ai Ota, is one of my favorites. It is a shame that her novels aren’t translated into any other language yet. Her crime suspense stories are the best you can find in Japan. Also like Mieko Kawakami and Tomoka Shibasaki. They all depict the daily lives of Japan in a very nice way that I find intriguing. »

Which of your projects did you enjoy doing the most?

« I like every project that I have been doing in various reasons but for “A RED HAT”, that became very important for me because a book came out for that. »

What is the best advice you can give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps as a photographer?  

« All I can say is that please be sure that you are not going to make good money with documentary style photography but it sure becomes a very nice excuse to walk in to a stranger’s house and listening to someone else’s story. And if you like doing that, pursuit the path but you need to be generous and aware that everyone in this world has feelings just like you and me. So never forget the respect in others as photographers sometimes do forget that in order to get the best photos for themselves.

Other than that, music, novels and movies are always inspiring so do dig in to them all the time. »

And if you had to give your younger-self some advice before starting working in this path what would it be?

« Read more novels and watch more movies NOW!!!! »

Finally, what makes you happy today?

« When someone who you never knew comes up to me and says « I bought your book, ‘A RED HAT’ ». »

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