If you’re not familiar with his work, here’s what the Flickrverse has to say:
“Absolute stunning work. Junku also reminds me of Daido Moriyama. High contrasty and intimate approach to his subjects. Its always exhilarating to go through Junku’s photostream.” — ACGATATACG
“I am a his monochrome addict. His works are full of human touch, but they are not always just beautiful , yet the people in his photographs look animated and are humane.” — miu37
“i really enjoy to view mr. junku ‘s photographs. like he said, in his picture, he surely catch the soul and the beat. all his photos really represent the japanese soul. its very old school, its very juicy. but at same time, he add his funky beat into the picture. his photo also looks very modern, especially the highly contrast and texturing. i have no idea on his gear leica, but im sure he choose the right gear for his need. hope you all enjoy as much as i do." — Chia Tea
1. Junku, we know it’s a tough question, but if you had to pick just one camera to shoot with from now until the end of time, what would that be?
A Hasselblad. And that one fixed on a tripod. Like Shōji Ueda, who kept shooting masterpieces for his entire career without leaving his homeland. I would really like to eventually shoot the scenery and people of my homeland in detail.
2. Another (possibly) tough question… Tell us your favourite photos on Flickr, and why you like them. First, a favourite from your photostream?
I have known her since my childhood. She ran a pig farm with her husband, who was the best drinker in the village. I used to be treated kindly by them, who had no children. Three years ago, however, the husband died a sudden death three days after I drank with him. Whenever I go back to my hometown, I pay a visit to her humble place and take shots of her. I love this one of her smile, which I took this spring, so much that I have a print hung in my own room.
And from another Flickr member?
It’s by Emmanuel Smague. Even without any words, this picture would tell you about everything from the woman to the country she lives in, I believe.
3. What’s one tip that you would share with someone who’s just picking up a camera?
I would like to say, “Taking pictures is easy to begin with, so enjoy it freely.” But your pictures will also capture your character, your thoughts, your philosophy, even your sense for clothes, I believe. Someone becomes highly regarded because of one shot that happened to go beyond their aim, and keeps paying its consequences thereafter. Another has their intention of one picture misjudged, like a politician’s statement. The moment you decide to get down to taking pictures, you are a photographer and cannot get away with the works you make public, I think.
4. Which Flickr member should we ask the 5 questions of next?
Youichi Shidomoto. The mellow cityscape and mature women of Tokyo should be taken shots of by him, who was nursed and reared by the metropolis.
5. Chillhiro would like to ask you, “It seems you went to Northern area of Japan after the earthquake and took some photos. I want to hear your story about it, what did you feel while you were there?” Please answer this question and also let me know which question about his photography did you always want to ask Youichi?
When I passed through a mountain trail, the sea came into view. Tears came to my eyes when I saw a tsunami-hit area spread before me. However, I grew convinced of a not-far-away recovery from the disaster as I interacted with people there. At the same time, around the nuclear power plant of Fukushima Daiichi spread spring rural landscapes, beautiful except that cattle and dogs were prowling about, with unknowing cherry trees in blossom as usual. But only human-beings were nowhere to be seen, and I developed an illusion that I was in another world, which made me cry in despair and horror.
Oh,Kay, it’s very hard to ask a question about Youichi‘s photography. I really wanna know…you know… not about his photo technique but…well…. Which music, movies and books you leaned toward when you were around twenty, and those you relish today. Do you think they have an influence on your photography?
Kay: Junku, thank you very much. We will return with our interview of Youichi Shidomoto soon.