Dark Matter: Japanese Photographer Captures the Nights in the Russian Far East
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.
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.
I spent five days in Vladivostok. But I’m planning to go back there sometime soon for developing the project.