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Deutsche Bank SIBOS Gala Dinner

It was a crazy weekend. After battling a cold midweek, my family and I went to Shirahama hot springs last Sunday and Monday. I will likely write about our trip for Kansai Scene magazine. We had an hour-long thunderstorm in the evening, followed by a clear night under the full moon. In the morning, the skies were hazy, giving the surrounding mountains an ethereal feel.

As soon as I got back to Osaka, I had to enter another dimension, that of a gala dinner organised for bankers and financiers. They were being entertained by the Deutsche Bank during the SIBOS meeting being held in Osaka this week. I was mandated by the event's organisers, Luminous Asia, to document the evening. It went really well, in great part thanks to the friendly and well-organised staff of Luminous Asia. The guests were also accommodating, even if some (many?) of them probably make in an hour what I was paid for the work.

The food served was very appetizing (sadly no one offered me a bite, sob sob), the decor was beautiful, and the performances by KAGEMU and TAO were breathtaking. What I found very interesting was as I was walking around I kept hearing different accents and languages: it felt as if I were in Astoria, not Japan.

Here are some pics of the event. Enjoy!

Black Swan Naomi

On Sunday the 21st I had the privilege to get inside the bubble of Kansai artist Naomi Takaki. Most of her works are prints, and on the day of the Black Swan shoot, she etched a piece of copper (?), then applied a black tar-like ink on it, removed all excess ink, and then proceeded to make a print. It is a time-consuming, painstaking job, and when I saw the smile on her face when she 'discovered' her print, I knew all of her efforts were not in vain.

Meeting her was a grey swan for me (it didn't change the course of my life like Black Swans do), as we have have man friends in common, my capoeira teacher being one of them. We'll probably never best friends, but we got along from the first meeting, which compelled me to ask her to be part of the series. She readily agreed, although it did take some time before our schedules coincided. I'm very glad they did.

Here is a 'mysterious' shot from the shoot, I still haven't had the time to take a close look at the whole set. Enjoy!

Wedding Photo Shoot

I'm slowly catching up with all the shoots and stuff that happened recently. Actually, I wasn't supposed to be able to write this tonight, as originally, right now I would have been running with the Tokyo Ladies H3, but my son had a high fever this morning which forced me to cancel our boys' trip to the head of Japan (Osaka is the heart).

On Friday the 19th I was commissioned by Joia Weddings to document the Japanese wedding of Argutzane and Sergio, a beautiful couple from Spain. The young spanish people who decide to come all over Japan to get married are always interesting people with wide open minds. The shoot at Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto, one of the city's important ones, went really well. The weather was radiant (which made my job a little bit more complicated!), the make up and gown staff really efficient, and the people at the shrine really cordial. The day before I had a good idea about how to use the stream going through the shrine, which the staff and couple really liked (thank you internet for free origami instructions)!

After the couple got back to the shop to get back in regular wear, we went to have a beer and continued chatting for some time. While talking with the new husband (their parents didn't know they were getting married, and originally it was supposed to be a surprise for the bride too!), the topic of yuzu came about, and before parting ways, we went to a supermarket to buy some products using the citrus.

Here's one of the last shot of the day (the umbrella was the gown shop director's idea: big Like for teamwork)!


Kansai Scene Photo Shoot

This morning I had a photo shoot for the cover of the upcoming Kansai Scene issue. It'll be their 150th one and the focus will be food. Godzilla made a surprise appearance during the shoot, featuring the art of Shahnaz Ahmed. To see the full image, probably without Godz, you'll have to wait until November. Enjoy and Itadakimasu!


Capoeira Demo @ Piyo Piyo

For last few years, my capoeira group makes a demonstration at the Piyo Piyo Center, a place that caters to children and young people with disabilities. It gives them the opportunity to experience something different, and they always seem to enjoy it. As for myself, it is a chance to help a little, having a soft spot for the underdogs. It was a beautiful day, and the people there were radiant.

Makoot Exhibition @ Ashitano Gallery

Last week Saturday (I know, I'm late), I attended the opening party for a Makoot exhibition at Gallery Ashitano. Most Corners members came out, as well as Kasatani-san and Daisuke from PR-y. In addition to the dolls, there were also pictures exhibited a some Makoot dolls that traveled around the world, in Canada and Sri Lanka amongst others. Sorry about the late notice, the exhibition ends next Tuesday.

The atmosphere was very good, and things livened up when a due played some music on the violin and cello. I leave with a picture of the show.


Quantum Suicide - Video

I have much more to write, but luckily for me this can easily be done quick and dirty. Check out the music video by Osaka's own Union Trouble. I shot the stills on this one (as well as providing the on-the-ice camera, but there isn't much merit in that since I wasn't holding it). Enjoy!


PR-y Atelier Corners: October 4, 2012

Along with Kasatani-san and Miyuki-san, I went to Atelier Corners for the first time in a few months, this time expressly to shoot pictures. The plan is to release another book next year, although the concept   is not decided and it will probably branch out a little.

It was great to see everyone again, and the atmosphere did not change much from last time. Although I have been there a number of times, I did notice a few dynamics between the people that I had not seen before; whether these are recent or I was blind to them before, I'm uncertain. The artists were pretty excited at first, and there was some hearty laughter from all in the first hour. With time, things calmed down a little, although Hiroki's enthusiasm did not diminish. He really enjoyed taking pictures with my camera, and you can see lower what his favorite subject was.

By the way, from tomorrow Oct. 6 until the 16th, there is a photo exhibition at the Ashitano Gallery by photographers and other people who took their Makoot dolls around the world and took pictures of them in different places. The opening party is on the 6th, from 3pm. Most Corners artists will be there and I'll try to swing by after my son's first Sports Festival.


Mami was happy as always
Makoto washes the cups as Hiroki plays
in the background 

New Corners keychains

The nicest smile I've ever seen on Koji

A little break (or dance?) for Koji
Good friends

Is this Makoot doll going to make it to an exhibition?

Humm, what score to use?

Photo by Makoto

Photo by Hiroki, my legs!