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Chris Rhodes Japan
Photography by Chris Rhodes

Shooting the surreal side of Japan

Capturing the beauty of the everyday, globetrotting photographer Chris Rhodes takes us on a journey through Japan

Globetrotting photographer Chris Rhodes last caught our attention when he captured the clichéd country singers and Elvis look-a-likes of Memphis. Inspired by photographer Kozo Miyoshi’s hypnagogic romanticism, this time he set off to see the pastoral Japanese countryside and contrastingly surreal structures of Tokyo through the lens of his camera. The clean architecture and alien symbols otherworldly to the London-based photographer’s home influenced him to capture beauty in the everday. “I appreciate the transformation of trivial objects or daily scenes into more unsettling visions of shapes and colours,” he tell us. “It was a challenging experience to get the opportunity to apply my own vision to such an overly represented place.”

The sense that you’re being taken on a journey through Chris’s photography is created through the spontaneity of his images that leave them charmingly cropped at odd angles, perfectly preserving a natural moment in time. “I work very fast so most of my subjects are unaware I have photographed them,” he explains. “Sometimes I will stop and ask to take a photo, but as soon as a connection has been made, the moment has usually passed and the photography no longer enjoys the same authenticity.” Defying the “awkward space” traditional portraiture creates between the subject and photographer, Chris only reveals a section of his subjects, or photographs them from behind.  “I enjoy the anonymous aspect of not revealing a face; it’s something rather fascinating. I believe for a photo to be interesting it must have several levels of interpretation. From the back, avoiding all relationship to the subject, this one is free to be re-interpreted, re-imagined.”