Manabu Yamanaka, 1959, Japan, is a photographer who focuses mainly on societal outcasts. In 2009 he released a monograph entitled Gyahtei which shows the six major series he has created during a period of 25 years, all with titles that originate from Buddhism. One of those series is Jyoudo; a collection of photographs portraying physically deformed human beings, including some of the worst kind of deformation imaginable. Manabu noticed that even in this state “I saw how truly natural each one of their lives really were.” Amongst his other subjects are elderly photographed in the nude, street children and homeless people. His images are strong, powerful, (un)comforting and might sometimes be hard to digest. His latest body of work is a series of images that show unborn and deformed embryos. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout the world and has appeared in numerous publications. The following images come from the series Jyoudo, Gyahtei and Fujohkan.
Shinya Arimoto, 1971, Japan, is a conceptual documentary photographer who studied at the School of Visual Arts in Osaka. Within his body of work there is a lot of street photography containing images of structures, objects, women and homeless people. In contrast to a lot of other street photographers he does not just snap his camera but carefully creates the images showing a photographer who communicates with his subjects. The world he shows us is chaotic and vibrant yet he manages to create a sense of calm within his photographs. His story-telling images are well-composed, sensitive and intimate. His work has been exhibited on numerous occasions in Japan. The Totem Pole Photo Gallery released two limited edition 20 page books with his work. The following images come from the portfolios Ariphoto2011 Vol.1, Ariphoto2009 Vol.3 Why Now Tibet and Ariphoto2009 Vol.1.
I came across Tomas Cochello’s photos of Antarctica while browsing through Revista Lunfarda, an online-only fashion and art magazine focused on [only] Argentine artists. Looking at Cochello’s photos I’m reminded of Werner Herzog declaring at the beginning of Encounters at the End of the World, his documentary about the continent, that he will not make a movie about fluffy penguins, but instead follow his whim and curiosity. Cochello’s photos show a similar whimsical, omniverous and beautiful spirit.
I was also taken in by Cochello’s photos of Buenos Aires. Avoiding cliché when depicting a city is a huge challenge, even more so when using subject matter (homeless people, pigeons, parking lots) which are themselves cliché in photography. Somehow Cochello manages to thread the needle.
Zhou Mi, 1962, China, works and lives as a freelance photographer in San Francisco since 2004. He started out as a civil engineer in China for 13 years before receiving an M.A. in Communication Arts at the New York Institute of Technology. Between 1997 and 2004 he was an art director in New York but left for San Francisco to become a photographer. Since then he has done a large number of projects that have taken him to various places. His homeland China, Cuba, India and Turkey are amongst the places he has traveled for his photography. His series The Earth is a collaboration with fashion designer Ma Ke. It is an impressive mix of fashion, documentary, portrait and landscape photography creating very clear, high contrast b/w photographs. Zhou works with homeless people, photographs lost or discarded items on the beach and focuses on street photography. The following images come from the series The Earth, Lost & Found and Portraits.
Claudio Edinger, 1952, Brazil, is a photographer with a long history in the photographic world. He started with photography in the 1970’s and hasn’t stopped since then. Since 1983 he has released an amazing number of monographs covering images of the famous Chelsea Hotel (1983), Venice beach (1985), Brazil’s Carnaval (1996) and São Paulo (2009) amongst others. Madness covers images of Latin America’s largest insane asylum. It took him several years to find a publisher who was willing to publish it in 1997. Today Claudio works with a large format camera. He uses selective focus and an experimental use of color. With this technique he has focused on architecture, landscapes, cityscapes and portraiture. He has created impressive portraits of Paris, the Amazon region, Homeless people sleeping in the streets and recently on Downtown LA. Claudio has received the Leica Medal of Excellence twice amongst many others. The following images come from the series Downtown LA, Rio de Janeiro and Madness.