I initially moved to Japan to teach English for a year, that was in 2002 and I've lived here ever since. I spent my early twenties in the classroom by day and at Tokyo clubs, live houses and karaoke rooms at night. In 2008 I started my own website to showcase my nightlife photography, and this led to a career photographing events, hosting parties, DJing, casting etc.
My adventures with disposable cameras began about ten years ago. For taking shots of everyday life, the pocketability and snapshot sensibility was an escape from the bulk of a DSLR camera and the raw aesthetic an antidote to the infinite possibilities of digital retouching.
I found an exciting sense of poetry in capturing fleeting moments in a country where appreciation for the transient nature of life and pathos of things is such an intrinsic part of the culture. Over the years I've spent hours sequencing the images to form a narrative to express how I view and have experienced national and cultural identity in Japan.
At the end of 2019, I published DISPOSABLES as a photobook of 119 images. I chose this number as it's the same amount of prints in ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Hiroshige’s 19th-century series ‘One Hundred Famous Views of Edo’. DISPOSABLES not only finds commonality with some locations in that body of work but also in the themes that place the 'everyday' beside the 'sacred and profane' in the 'Floating World’. Japanese society is often cited for being homogenous, I want to present it in its plurality.
This virtual, vertical gallery displays a selection of photographs from the book.
Click on each of the images to view a short passage of text I have added to give each context.