Project

Dark Matter: Japanese Photographer Captures the Nights in the Russian Far East

Inspired by the works of Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, and Tarkovsky, Tokyo photographer Taro Karibe crossed the Sea of Japan and captured nightlife in the Far East of Russia.

Taro Karibe 28 years

Japanese photographer based in Tokyo. Studied psychology at Nanzan University. Worked for a commercial bank as a corporate sales manager and system developer. In 2015, started a career as a freelance photographer. Published his work in The New York Times, International New York Times, British Journal of Photography, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, The Guardian.

— After I read Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, and watched Tarkovsky, I was so much impressed by Russian culture that I decided to make this project. Despite the Far East part of Russia being quite close to Japan, I had no idea about modern life there. So I decided to visit and document what I saw.

I love the atmosphere of Russia. Color, light, and the expression of the people who live in the land are lit in the darkness, and I get startled by the beautiful contrast. I was shocked by and liked the beautiful contrast between the color, light, and darkness of the city. I felt Russia is more three-dimensional than Japan. Only one thing I can say about Russians is that they have a special sense of color for everything: fashion, buildings, posters, and so on. I assume that it reflects the psychological state of a Russian. The lingering scent of ideology is still haunting this land like a ghost.

I felt Russia is more three-dimensional than Japan.

Some subjects are my friends that I made in the city, but mostly they are random strangers whom I met or saw on the streets. At first I planned to photograph only in daytime with a beautiful sunrise or sunset light. But it was cloudy everyday when I was staying there. That’s why all the pictures are photographed at night, and luckily I could get nice photographs.

At first I planned to photograph only in daytime with a beautiful sunrise or sunset light. But it was cloudy everyday when I was staying there.

I spent five days in Vladivostok. But I’m planning to go back there sometime soon for developing the project.

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