A while ago my friend taka waka told me about this event named “Sexy Dance Night” at a place called Shisui deux here in Tokyo. It included pole dancing, he said, and well – that’s really all it took to get me hooked. A bit more than a week ago the chance to attend this show finally came around, and taka waka, being the good guy he is, made sure I was seated on the stage, 3 meters from the pole. Now, boy, that show was good.
I’m ashamed to admit that until then I had never seen any pole dancing show, but this was not at all as I had imagined it. And I’m pretty sure this is not what your off the shelf “pole dancing show” is supposed to be like. Nothing sleazy at all, just pure beauty. It was spectacular and miraculous to see the performers defy gravity.
My seating on stage and a fixed lens gave me little options for variation when taking photographs, especially since I wanted to absorb as much of the show as possible and not get caught up too much in my viewfinder. I’ll certainly go again, and might leave the camera at home. For now, though, here are some photographs I took:
I’m happy to announce my BLACK ICE exhibition in Tokyo from 2014 Oct. 17th to Nov 1st and the reception party on Oct. 18th
It is my first exhibition after 2 years and going to be themed around my recently released book “White Snow on Black Ice”. Of course, the book itself will be on display, as well, so everyone will have a chance to experience it without the need to commit to buying one, if it’s not sold out by then anyway.
BLACK ICE photo+book exhibition
by Holger Feroudj
Duration: Oct. 17th to Nov. 1st
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat. 19:00 – 3:00
Venue: OFFICE Gaienmae
BLACK ICE展示で最近手作りの自分で出版した「White Snow on Black Ice」という写真集／アーツブックの上、本から取られた画像が違った風に大きいプリントとして展示されます。
This exhibition is based on my recently released handmade art- and photobook “White Snow on Black Ice,” and will show both the book as well as abstract large format black and white photographs taken from the images in the book.
Synopsis of the book:
“‘White Snow on Black Ice’ is the result of using photography and book design to capture the invisible bond of memories connected to places of my past I have rich memories tied to. Places that make me re-live certain events, painful and happy alike; however, memory does not work like a video recorder. Memory changes upon re-living it. The harder you try to see and remember, the deeper you go, layer by layer, the more likely you are to re-write your past without even realizing it. Until you feel that you really experienced it.
Using a multilayered design with a special kind of reflective printing on black paper, the process of browsing and looking at these photographs of the frozen ground I experienced so much on supports the feeling of how memory works.”
Both the exhibited photographs, as well as the book, give a deep impression on the fallibility and bias of our memory.
The story of the Fox
Not a part of the BLACK ICE series, I depended on it to keep the series together when on a wall instead of in the book. The fox is a print of mine that I come to love more and more as the years pass – I already shot it like 7 years or so ago. It’s like only now I get to know the little fella with his glance straight into my soul better. This is also the reason why so far it is the only print that I explicably offer as fine art print on my little store: holgerferoudj.com/store/shop/prints/fox/
Some of the other prints I have have to stand the (emotional) test of time first.
This is why film photography sucks.
… no, just kidding… or am I? 😉
Some spontaneous mood drove me to bring a film camera with long expired ISO100 slide film to a party – no idea which evil fairy put this idea in my head. I tested my flash on my digital camera to get an idea of how strong it would need to be for a proper exposure, but when I actually used it at the venue it blasted everything away and I chickened out and against logic turned it down as much as possible – now half the roll is wildly underexposed.
And because the film was expired, it’s heavily magenta shifted PLUS the tungsten interior light with the daylight balanced film makes everything super-red, and and and… all other kind of other ugly troubles that are so much easier to avoid on digital.
But I still like it. This time was really the last, though.
This Tuesday, if you had walked around Tokyo, more precisely around the infamous Harajuku area, in front of Yoyogi Park, just after the rain stopped late afternoon, then you might have seen something a bit different than usual. It is not unusual to see small groups of girls and guys (usually girls) there dressed up louder than you could have ever imagined. Very often, these groups practice a ritual, which I’m still waiting for to vanish from this planet forever: cosplay, imitating characters from anime.
Sometimes, however, there are groups of fashion-frenzy young people, amazingly creative in their outfits, no less loud than the cosplay gangs but without all the weird stuff, you know. Without the weird stuff. That’s more my thing.
You would have seen such a bright group on Tuesday, surrounded by dozens of people with cameras, and a couple of VIPs. You would also have seen me, trying to bring order into the masses, apparently resembling a German shepard – as my friend pointed out. He probably wanted to make fun of me, but to me it sounds like a compliment.
Compliment or not, I didn’t have much time to think about how much I resemble a German shepard at that time, because I was guiding the A-TEAM and our beautiful models to some photo spots around Harajuku’s Takeshita Street and a couple places on the Omotesando side. This caused a bit of a tumult because of bystanders who had no idea what’s going on, and wanted to get a good shot of what they thought were celebrities or the like, but we had many locations to cover and the “get in there take photos and get out if you have the shot” military mission style tactic worked perfectly.
Here’s some more of the photos that I took at the event, enjoy!
The change of seasons in Tokyo – and maybe big parts of the rest of Japan – is marked by a very clearly distinguished sequence of natural events and the advent of certain messengers. In winter, Japanese plum trees (ume, 梅) start to bloom beautifully. After that, the popular cherry blossoms (sakura, 桜) send tremors of euphoria through the country and announce the advent of spring. The cherry blossoms fall, and the crows appear. Huge crows. Smart crows. And aggressive crows. I get attacked at least once a year – and I’m not the only one, judging from the warning signs that appear during that season. The crows calm down a bit, and the rainy season starts. One month of rain.
In March I shot some photos for an event organized by ERECT Magazine, a Japanese arts magazine and book publisher.
The event was an exhibition (“SUPER ERECT EXHIBITION”) with and by artists published by ERECT, and was one of many events happening at the annual Roppongi Art Night in Tokyo. One of the show’s highlights was the live body painting session by Shohei Otomo.