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Thanks to Emi for the time devoted to Urbanautica and the presentation of her intimate view of the city of Tokyo. 

Steve Bisson

«I started in 2005. I liked taking photos at unfamiliar places, and at first I didn’t care about why I took such photos. Yet I began to notice why as I watched and thought about what I had photographed. I choose unfamiliar places to me because I want to see the lives of people to whom I don’t have any connection. I don’t know. I’ll keep working on this project, so maybe it will change, but maybe not. It’s kind of my lifework, so the overall, important themes won’t change. But I might find some small variations while working on it. I don’t shoot people directly, but of course I’m interested in them. When I was small, I thought that the things I couldn’t see did not actually exist, or at least, I wasn’t sure. So I’m interested in other people’s lives.»

«I don’t really focus on shooting urban landscapes. I live in the west part of Tokyo. When I’m taking photos, I like to have some distance between me and the things I’m shooting, like people, houses, apartments, trees and so on. I like to be not so far, but not so close, either. As for the center of Tokyo, we can see many high buildings at the business city. But there are also old neighborhoods there, it’s mixed. In the commercial areas, at first we may feel that it’s artificial, but I think we can feel the existence of people too. So Tokyo is an attractive city for me.»

«I don’t really have much of a relation with nature. There’s also no real direct connection to the moon, either. When I was young, I saw the moon at night through the window of a car and was surprised that it looked like following me even though I was traveling very quickly. The moon and me are far existence each other but I felt something like a connection with it at the time. It’s only an example, but in a way I feel something similar when I click the shutter in a place that’s unfamiliar to me.»

«This work is like my lifework. So it’s very important work for me.  I’m now making a photobook, called “A Trip to Europe.” In that work there are photos that I took when I traveled Europe two years ago. This work was also born out of the work “The Moon, Following Me.” In both works, the things I’m interested in are the same: the existence of other people, my own existence, and feeling some insurmountable distance between myself and something else.» 

© All copyright remains with photographer Emi Fukuyama

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