An Aesthetics of Everyday Life : Photography of Junya Suzuki

Junya Suzuki (b.1979) is a street and documentary photographer based in Kanagawa and Tokyo, Japan. He began taking photographs in 2009. His interest focuses how picture elements connect at the same place at the same time. The faces may have turned to the same direction, or may have turned to different direction. However, the connections in their emotions fill the space as attractive photograph. He continues shooting to pursue a goal to document real facts of daily life, adding his own expression of surrealism, lyricism or humor.

suzuki junya photography (2)‘An Aesthetics of Everyday Life’ is Junya’s ongoing documentary that prospects for feeling in everyday life. He tells more about it in his answers below.

Please tell me about yourself and your relationship with photography:

My Name is Junya Suzuki and I’m a 37 year old street photographer from Kanagawa, Japan. Kanagawa is located next to Tokyo. About 8 years ago, I got a compact digital camera to record my son’s growth. I also began to go out to with my camera and capture subjects other than my family. Now I believe that photography has become a part of my life.

suzuki junya photography (3)About three years ago, I used to create fine art style B&W images. Later I felt that I was not expressing myself through my photos. With this doubt in mind, I came across a book on street photography. The book taught me that it is interesting to read the viewpoint of the photographer from his/her photos. Since then, I try to take photos that express me and my style. What I want to express is the story in our everyday lives. We always see things in color, which is why I only shoot in color now.

suzuki junya photography (4)Tell me about your project ‘An Aesthetics of Everyday Life’. How did it evolve?

Have you heard a Japanese word “wabi-sabi”? Since ancient times, Japanese have had a unique aesthetic sense referred to as “wabi-sabi”. Generally, this aesthetic prefers the mundane over the showy, quietude over eloquence, and stillness over movement.

suzuki junya photography (5)Japanese came to see things in their natural state as pure, while those modified by human as impure. Seeking the natural essence of things, this aesthetic sensibility was produced from themselves. However, almost no opportunity to hear the aesthetic exists in modern times. As the time goes by, and as human comes to see the surface of things, they might have lost such a mind of aesthetic.

suzuki junya photography (6)One day, I found the common point in photos I captured. That’s the quietness not the boisterousness. I unconsciously may feel the aesthetic sense like “wabi-sabi” in the environment which keeps creating, destroying and changing all the time. Nothing is permanent in this world. And we know life is not endless.

That’s why I suspect that we can have a feeling in existing together in harmony. I keep shooting to seek for feeling in everyday life.

suzuki junya photography (7)What photography equipment do you use and why?

I use Leica M rangefinder camera because I want to control shooting timing quickly by manual focus and come face-to-face with subjects through the viewfinder. A photographer may be able to take popular photo without the viewfinder, however, I believe that the photographer would not be able to express oneself through the photo. In addition I try to be consistent in using the 35mm lens when shooting in most scenes. I think that the angle of view best fits me when trying to express the things that I see and feel directly.

suzuki junya photography (8)What are your future plans/projects, ambitions, aspirations etc.?

I don’t think I’ll keep shooting with a fixed theme. I just capture the moment attracted me at that time.
That may change unconsciously by an internal factor or the outside factor.

Something to say to our readers or aspiring photographers:

I would be very glad if you come to seek something in your everyday life by looking my photos.

suzuki junya photography (9) suzuki junya photography (10) suzuki junya photography (11) suzuki junya photography (12) suzuki junya photography (13) suzuki junya photography (14) suzuki junya photography (15)All photos © Junya Suzuki : Website | Facebook

About Nishant Mishra

Nishant studied art history and literature at the university during 1990s. He works as a translator in New Delhi, India and likes to read about arts, photography, films, life-lessons and Zen.

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