Japan’s significant impact on world fashion and technology are undisputed. Yet Japanese photography is best known by the words of documentary legends Shomei Tomatsu and Daido Moriyama as well as provocative eroticism by Nobuyoshi Araki. Among the emerging talent is Seiji Fujimori, the fast rising star whose style has captured attention of editors from Interview, New York Times Style, BlackBook, V Man, Marie Claire and other trendsetting magazines.
Fantasy takes flight as he seamlessly blends anime and Tim Burton aesthetics with an eye for movement. Even his seemingly static studio shots are full of tension and drive revealing the passion behind fashion’s competing aspirations towards standing out and fitting it. Beyond cataloguing clothes in best light and from most flattering angles, his lens creates new contexts for the audience to experience designer philosophy. In short, Fujimori who studied photography at Visual Arts Collage in Osaka before pursuing his career internationally got “the edge” needed to succeed in this highly competitive arena. DEPESHA caught up with the artist working on our editorial commission for Volume Six print edition.
Why do you photograph?
I take pictures because to me it’s the best way to communicate with people.
Where did you grow up and how does your upbringing influence your work?
I was born and grew up in the country side of Japan. I was always surrounded by wild nature and nice people. This environment made me simple. I always try to enjoy what I have and appreciate what make.
What do you consider your break-through shoot/photograph?
I’ve always believed in what I do and focused on what I like. I believe quality of work is evident not only in the technique but also in the concept. Most important thing in my process is getting the concept.
What on-set/on-location rules or rituals do you have?
The only rule is trying to do my best in every situation. Oh, and I like drinking Coca Cola when I have a shoot.
What is the most valuable insight/advice you were given as an artist?
When I started my career, a photographer I know gave me advice: Be unique! If there is a photographer who shoots cockroaches every day, he’s someone else, a real artist! I try to be myself in my work.
How much of a photographer’s success is technical skill, business savvy, and mystery?
While successful people always have everything you mentioned, above all they are very hard workers.
For a fashion photographer, what is the relationship between likability online and in print?
They directly influence each other. I consider both internet and magazine exposure as the way of recognition.
How has democratization of access to and use of photo equipment affected the art form?
Thanks to this development, more people got more chance to express themselves. Photography’s main challenge now is to enhance its value.
What do you make of the relation between photography’s aspiration for the documentary and fashion’s love of the artifice?
Preparation is important for my work. I love to create environments, but in the end we create and capture the real moment. It is still documentary to me.
What of Russian culture has inspired you?
Conversations over vodka, because it is similar to Japanese traditions with sake!