Chikako Watanuki, a young film photographer in Tokyo, Japan, has a simple reason as to why her lens often focuses on flowers: colors. they Introduced to the world of analogue thanks to the Lomo LC-A, Chikako believes that 'grain is good', so she takes close-up images of flowers and buds to create ephemeral bokeh. Like dancing colors and lights.
Get to know Chikako's work through this interview with Lomography Magazine.
Hi Chikako! How are you doing these days as a photographer?
Hello!! I enjoy relaxing and my quiet time to shoot photos! Recently, I tend to take more time to finish a roll these days.
When did you start shooting in film? What drew you to the medium?
I bought my very first Lomography camera in 2004. It was Lomo LC-A. Some colorful photos, maybe they were cross-processed ones, in some magazine caught my eye! It was kind of a shocking moment for me, in a good way of course. I've never seen such photos before, in my life! Then I bought a little LC-A and tried a roll but I was disappointed in the results. My images were far from the ones in the magazine.. But I kept trying different experiments with the Lomography cameras.
A couple years later I had a chance to use a Polaroid SX-70 and fell in love with its unique characters, such as soft, grainy, nostalgic and imperfect feel. Since then I've pursued subjects with more dreamy feelings.
You shoot a lot of varying flowers. Where do you find them? What draws you to take images of flowers?
Tokyo! We can find various flowers throughout the year! And I often shoot some flowers in the shop windows. The reflections from the windows works well sometimes!
What inspires your creative juice?
Dreamy images with lots of subtle details. I enjoy playing with the light and colors in my images.
If you could work or collaborate with any photographer, artist or person, dead, alive or fictional, who would it be?
I tend to prefer to walk alone taking photos. But maybe I could enjoy a cup of coffee in a nice cafe talking with Vimpt. (@vimpt https://www.instagram.com/vimpt ) It would be fun. I like what they do and I'd like to learn more about their salt prints. Also, one of my dreams is to be chosen for their free salt prints!
Describe to us -- what's a day in the life of Chikako Watanuki?
A day in the life of me.. wow, now that is an interesting question for what seems like an ordinary lifestyle. I do what most do on a days to day basis. But, when I’m free, I like enjoy relaxing while taking photos. Nothing really exciting to be honest.
What do you usually do during your downtime? Any on-going project, or other plans you're keen to work on?
I want to go back to the darkroom. Making color prints in the darkroom is such a challenge for me, but it's a great chance to learn more about my photography. As a side note, I also want to try cyanotypes and albumen printing.