Career of Coincidence.
Hiro Tanaka is a Japanese photographer who, through a series of lucky coincidences and veritable talent, made it big in the music photography scene in the US. Ten years ago in Tokyo, Hiro was playing the raffle at a local mall using discarded raffle tickets. After a week or two of playing, he won the golden ticket – a free flight to the US. Hiro was in love with the punk scene at the time and as soon as he arrived in the States he found a punk club to enjoy the music. Although he spoke no English, he found Americans welcoming and soon the band befriended him. Just like that, he was on tour, in the thick of mosh pits, photographing for the band and the general punk rock music scene. Over the years, Hiro has published two photography books – his style is candid, with the shocking use of flash and eye for colour. This year, however, his new book, Dirty Birdy Bible: Notes from the Road, does not feature photography but rather is a compilation of American slang he learnt when touring the US. In an interview, Hiro says, “I think there is a tendency for Japanese people to think that you have to be able to speak English to go to America, but people were so patient and kind to me. I feel so much gratitude for how things turned out for me.”