About this project
FOLLOW THE BLOG AT: www.japantwopointzero.com
Hi, my name is Stirling Elmendorf and I’m a freelance photographer living in San Francisco California.
My photographic inspiration began 10 years ago when I moved to rural Japan, on Shikoku- the smallest of Japan’s four main islands. Somehow, Japan changed me and my view of the world forever. I felt a need to distill my feelings and share them in an efficient and translatable format. It’s time to honor that inspiration with a vision unlike anything you’ve seen before...
I’m returning in February to photograph people and places that were so inspiring to me. I’ll create a powerful series of fine art photos that will fuse Japan’s natural beauty, it’s rich and colorful society and it’s textured, man-made structures- both traditional and modern- beautiful and decaying... These photos will be part of the ジャパン2.0 - (JAPAN 2.0) photo book and website. The images will also be part of a photo exhibition in my Japantown neighborhood, here in San Francisco.
I’d like to share places that are still unknown and hidden from most people, even those who visit Japan. It’s a Japan that you can only see when you are closely connected with the Japanese people. I’ll be shooting intimate portraits of these great old friends and new friends along the way.
I’ll be recording my impressions on what made these locations so special to me, along with the changes I’m bound to observe on my return... Changes in Japan - and changes in me. How are things the same? How are they different? These thoughts will accompany the images in the book and on the website, along with some “before” shots as a graphical, evolutionary reference.
I’ll fly from San Francisco to Osaka and head straight to Shikoku, traveling from coastal fishing villages to mountainous waterfalls and rivers - exploring the lost, misty and magical Japan that so few foreigners ever experience...
After Shikoku, I’ll head north to Osaka and Kyoto, two amazing cities with greatly contrasting modern and traditional elements. Will Osaka still inspire me with the same dystopian wonder? Will Kyoto reveal hidden, silent messages that I missed before?
The last portion of the trip will be spent in Tokyo, which will be so opposite to Shikoku... Yet, what fibers tie these places together? How will I perceive and capture these interests?
This trip is about taking a fluid and direct approach to photography. I’ve spent the last 5 years shooting for all kinds of great clients, in a variety of technical situations. What will change in my work when I relax the controls and let Japan speak to me once more? What sparkling inspirations will reveal themselves?
All the funding pledged for this trip will fuel art production and working expenses. You are a click away from extremely limited, original artwork that I’ll be honored to share with you. Would you like to give me some direction for a special commissioned piece that will be uniquely yours? Maybe I’ll fly out to visit you for a full day photo class...
I’m really excited, hopeful and happy about this project. I’m thankful to my past clients for their support over the years and I’m extremely privileged to share this project with new clients and friends out there with an interest in Japan, fine photography and original artwork.
Thank you very much!
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- (28 days)