Up Close & Personal.
Kenya Sugai, has some of the most curiosity sparking photography. By using extreme close up shots, Sugai outlines and the endless possibility of what could be staring back at the viewer. In their newest series “02” we are faced with interesting artifacts that require creativity to decipher. Find out more from Kenya and what started these provoking, and curated photos.
“My name is Kenya Sugar and I'm from Fukuoka, Japan. My first introduction to photography was actually through film making.I originally thought that photography didn’t need much technical knowledge or practice, just because all you had to do was press a shutter-release button. I found out quickly that I was wrong and realized photography allowed me to express something I couldn’t before. As an important theme in all my works, I am interested in challenging what I can create in the field of snap photography, a simplest and quickest way of representation. I am often inspired by my previous works. I like to riff off what initially inspired me. I am also influenced by legendary photographers. But recently, anything from my everyday life, including something I love and hate, is a starting point of my creation. Sometimes I feel that my photography is so different that I am rooted in ‘non-sense’ or ‘a bad taste’, so my inner critic tends to be mean sometimes. My work is unique because I use extreme close ups or cropped shots. Originally, this was not intended. I think I am attracted to this because I’m trying to minimize visual information of the subject. This has been a theme in my most recent works. A difference from now from my early works is that I was reacting to something around me, and I felt a limitation in photographic expression. For several years I had stopped presenting my works, and decided to take a closer look and ponder what is photography for me. After a while, I realized I didn’t need to react to something around me but create within myself. For example, ‘a dog sitting in front of a pink wall’ can be just ‘a fluffy white and pink’. Once I started seeing the world in this way, social or political meaning of the subject disappears and only colour and shape remain in an image.”