i've been trying to figure out what my blog should be about. should it have a topic? a certain theme? should i be blogging about photography and culture or just about the things i love in tokyo? i guess it will be a little bit of both, but i'll try to keep the coffee pictures to a minimum. i want my blog to be inspiring and help people, who like myself, want to be creative, but don't always know how to..
first i want to just clarify what i'll be up to the next 6 months, as it is not just a matter of hanging out in tokyo for the fun of it. i'll be in tokyo for a little over 2 months to begin with. here the first thing i'll do is join a handmade photobook workshop held by reminders photographers stronghold and taught by the belgian photographer jan rosseel. the workshop will run through may, after which i'll join 3331 arts chiyoda, as a artist in residence. that means i'll get to work on a new photography project in tokyo, and i'm very excited about that as well. next i'll move to itoshima in fukuoka to join studio kura, as an artist in residence. i'll be there for 2 months before collecting my gear and travel through japan. in itoshima i'll get to explore the more rural side of japan, and in my head that means my über-urban tokyo project that i'll do at arts chiyoda can be counterweighted by a more rural side. could be an interesting juxtaposition. but let's not get ahead of ourselves, as i know all to well, things change all the time.
i'll start by telling you a bit more about the "staples and stitches" handmade photobook workshop i'm attending this month. i have for the last couple of months been working on new material that'll go into this book. i've been shooting film (portra 400) on an old minolta autocord, which is a completely new experience for me. these color film images will be set against some of my b/w pictures from my dark ops series - the story is one of inner frustration and doubt regarding my life direction. although this is a story personal to me, i think that most people can relate. anyway, that's what i hope will come across in the pictures and the book. the purpose of the workshop is to create a dummy - a dummy is a first proposal for your book, which can then be pitched to publishers, entered into competitions or be self published. i'm very excited to get started, as i have never ventured into making photo books previously. i have a feeling that the craftsmanship that goes into it, is right up my alley.
i'm currently living in a room above the gallery, where the workshop is held. very bohemian. the couple, yumi and masaru, who own the gallery live there too, and today masaru took me to a paper shop/book binding shop in jimbocho called misuzudo, so i could get all the tools for book binding and making. OMG! this shop was heaven - the amount of paper available there... i honestly haven't seen anything like that. ever! there were rows and rows of paper samples in any imaginable color and then 50 shades of that color. i could spend hours in there, and i am absolutely certain that i will, when the time comes for me to choose the paper i want to use in my book. i knew japan was good with paper and speciality shops, but this went beyond my wildest imagination.