A Photographers Trilogy
Artists all possess a unique spirit that separates them in some way from the rest of us. An unwavering compulsion to contribute something of substance to this world, to leave a footprint and a legacy that will outlive their time here. This spirit needs to be fed and nourished.
The modern artist’s integrity is constantly being threatened. Either by way of physical barriers that must be scaled for the perfect shot; the ideological battles, of striking the perfect balance between commercial endeavors with personal pursuits; and metaphysical questions of how to craft a reality from the surrealism of the mind.
These fascinating dynamics are ones that poweredby.tokyo decided to explore and dissect with the Photographer’s Trilogy short film series.
Created in collaboration with creative visionary and filmmaker Jeremy Rubier, poweredby.tokyo dives headfirst into the diverse, yet ultimately interconnected world of three of Tokyo’s most fascinating photographers.
The series begins with the story of Night Rider, a shadowy figure who feeds off neon lights of the city. An altitude addict, he’s like a perverse type of Spiderman, scaling the peaks of the city after dark.
A Tokyo night is a whirlpool of contradictions, in Night Rider’s words “loud and quiet at the same time.”
[Tokyo] is a city with a culture that is quite traditional and reserved, everyone is polite, and you get the impression that the city only really comes alive at night.
As the rules and regulations of the day depart with the setting sun, the city is exposed for what it truly is, a vibrating hub of uniquely diverse characters, their desires freed under the safety cloak of the evening.
At dark is when “the city feels like a huge playground” and Night Rider is the king.
One of the Tokyo’s most in-demand photographers, Gui Martinez is the protagonist for part two of the trilogy.
He’s a man of undeniable talent and a seemly unshakable appetite for finding balance in a life filled with extremes.
By day he finds his rhythm chasing the manic energy of the city.
The bubbling of coffee to fend off exhaustion, a rush of phone calls and the clattering of film canisters rattling around in his rucksack soundtrack his daily life.
While out of the city confides he finds a different rhythm altogether.
The Japanese term shinrin-yoku (森林浴) refers the action of ‘forest bathing,’ an organic recharging of the soul, and for Martinez it’s a necessity to maintain sanity.
The putt-putting of rhythms of his motorbike, like a steam-punk techno orchestra signal freedom. Back-dropped by the crashing of the shore, he tears along the nation’s coastlines, drinking in the peace and tranquility of the other Japan.
The last edition to round out the series turns the lens on Yulia Shur, an ex-dancer, who like liquid slips between the cracks of the city, drawing from its veins images and ideas that are impossible for the average human to visualize.
“My inner world is a big lustrous game center bathed in neon” Shur proclaims.
I exist in another dimension. Possibly even more than one simultaneously. Where the flow of shapes and images, from subconsciousness to consciousness, is constant.
Going beyond the typical role of a photographer, she lives and breathes her own crafted reality, it’s a kawaii-surrealism and Shur dances the line between illusion and reality.
She’s her own muse, finding inspiration in becoming the embodiment of kitsune 狐 (the fox). In Japanese folklore the fox is a familiar but elusive energy that has as much root in fantasy as it does in real life, like Shur herself.
ABOUT JEREMY RUBIER
A master of the lens, Rubier has visually placed the artists inside the style of works they create. The moody nightscapes of Night Rider, Martinez’s analog warmth, and the warped colors of Shur magnify the visual difference, but spiritual unity each of the three figures who are forever inseparable from their creations.
Director - Jeremy Rubier
Creative Director - Chace Fedor
Producer - Asako Tomotani
Photographers - JK Chekpo, Gui Martinez, Yulia Shur