Interview with Black and White photographer Osamu Jinguji

Interview with Black and White photographer Osamu Jinguji


I’m a photo artist and a creator in Japan. My career by them has re-started since my first poetry-photo book has been published in 2009. After that, I’ve been ever participating in many group exhibitions, art fairs in New York (SCOPE), in Miami (SPECTRUM), in Spain (ARTEANDO) and in Germany (BERLINER LISTE), etc. Also, my works, for the last several years, have been featured on a lot of International Art Magazines including ‘The Arte Fotografica’ (Portugal), etc. In FEB-2014, they have finally appeared in the PhotoVogue Collection (A collaboration w/VOGUE Italia) at Art+Commerce in NY.

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© Osamu Jinguji

How and when did you become interested in photography?

I was born in Japan in 1962. Now, I’m a photo artist and a creator but my first career as an artist is an actor and a model. After their activities for 5 years, I retired owing to bad health. After taking over 25 years of twists and turns, I made a decision to live as an artist again and finally selected to become a photographer which I like the best of ever and fit my current life style very much. So, it means that, living, as a photographer, must be my last resort to survive in this world.

Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?

My favorite 7 photographers are as follows; Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Steve McCurry, Jeanloup Sieff, Nick Knight, Mario Testino, and Ikko Narahara. I love and respect a lot of photographers worldwide, who you may also know and like, as most of the above 7 photographers are quite famous, but the best artist I respect now is Picasso, because I can learn many important things as an artist from him. Especially, it’s about the most important thing— endless ‘Creations and Destructions’.

Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?

All colors belong to black and B&W is near to fiction, but it’s very easy for me to feed the most important essences back accurately to people.

How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?

I have taken photos of models, musicians or performers live several times, not at studios, but now I prefer the street. I don’t know what will happen, who I will meet, someday or somewhere. So, when I go out for the photo shoot, I try so as not dare have any ideas or purpose. I do things that way, because I get great joy from new discoveries.

And, I love a free spirit. The basics are very important for everyone. At that point, I often followed guidelines but now, finally, I’m following my sixth sense at an unconscious level, especially whenever I must decide the most important things in my life, whenever I select my subjects for taking pictures and whenever I expose their raw data and finish up my work.

Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?

To put it succinctly, my current work is not the result of simply taking photos. It is more like an expression of my passions, memories and ideology.

It is to excise a precise cross-section of all times, spaces and emotions flowing in parallel with the other worlds on a subconscious level. It is to completely reproduce a part of my intrinsic poetry, as a lost piece of my puzzle, imparting a transmission of my life philosophy. With each photo comes a rebirth of my soul as another piece of myself and a reminder of my memories beyond a time and space, which would otherwise be forever lost in the many stories of my short life and its endless cycles.

Additionally, the subjects of my photographs, especially regarding my current and future worlds revolving in B&W, do not merely suggest that which is visible, but as much carry with them aspects of invisible. This tension between that is seen, and that is unseen suggests the infinite that I try to capture with my photography.

To put previous two paragraphs very simply, it is, while tuning or sympathizing with space taken gouge in the unconscious, one of which space-time with no boundaries, human consciousness, or invisible phenomenon, by pouring my interpretation, aesthetics, philosophy and soul in there, that make it revive as a part of my ego, consciousness or memory.

So, my current photo art style can be strictly defined as “BORDERLESS” (No Border), a word which encapsulates the following 7 concepts:
1 A renaissance of the soul
2 Symbiosis with all this world’s phenomena
3 The eternal conflict with time and space in the universe
4 Beat myself, beat my core and beat my existence
5 Resistance against all invisible pressures
6 Warning against the hegemony of civilization, science and fashion
7 One love in Chaos

The origin of this short sentence ‘Beat myself, beat my core and beat my existence’ is the following one of my basic slogans (catch-phrases) ;

“To beat my SELF, beat my CORE and beat my EXISTENCE. That’s my PASSION, my CHALLENGING and my LIFE. And…! That’s my ART & SOUL in this world.”

I believe that the essence of the arts including every picture is also a succession of “Creation and Destruction” in this world. At the same time, I make sure that their conducts and processes for creating every art are the works finding light, beauty or brilliant matters like “Hope”, “Dreams”, and “Faith”. Through the darkness, in the chaos, or in oneself like regret, failure or collapse and so on. “BEAT” in above slogan means to fight with my darkness on my short history in this world, win against them (or destroy each of them or leave from so called stereo-typed ideas or break out of my shell) and create the future as my “Only-One (unique/original)” art. So, based on that meaning, I don’t know yet which ‘PUSH’ or ‘BEAT’ is correct.

Furthermore, basically, I have neither purpose nor goal in my life. I love a ‘simple’ life. I take a photo, change it to suit my original art and inspire inspire a lot of people with them. It’s an endless cycle I hope. However, my goal, if I were to use one phrase, is that I live out my life as a unique artist with great satisfaction.

Finally, here is my simple philosophy for living on in this world and for taking photos;

“Everything is in flux and nothing is permanent. No one can stop the flow of time. So, the act of me taking pictures in an instant is a modest resistance of just that.”

Website: www.osamu-jinguji.com
PhotoVogue Collection: www.photovogue.artandcommerce.com

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