Q&A with Masataka Nakano
What is it about the urban landscape that you find so irresistible?
For me it is not architecture, but the energy created by constant human interaction that forms the urban landscape. I’m attracted to any scenery that emanates such energy.
Where does your preference for large-scale photography originate?
It originates from my understanding of the city as an organic, living thing, with has its own intensions – its own agenda.
What is it about Japan that you find so photographable?
In spite of having our own traditional culture, Japan has a flexibility that aggressively absorbs other cultures such as the United States and Europe. I think expressing a new kind of image of Japan, through taking my photographs, is an important task for forecasting the future of my country.
Had you photographed/been to Kyoto before working with Wallpaper*?
I had been to Kyoto many times before this project, but I can say that it was definitely the first time that I photographed the city with any seriousness.
What did you find the most interesting element of Kyoto, aesthetically or otherwise?
The people, who take so much pride in preserving their countless fascinating traditions.
How long did you spend in Kyoto?
I spent an incredible four days – but it was very tight schedule.
Which city would you ideally like to photograph next?
In terms of Japan, it would have to be Osaka. I truly think that Osaka is the most amazing, exciting and vibrant city in Japan.
If you could live anywhere other than your hometown Tokyo, where would you live?
I stayed in New York for three months when I was 28 years old. I felt the same busy rhythm as Tokyo whilst I was there. I wish I could live in a place where the people treasure tradition and time flows more slowly – for example an ancient Italian city like Florence or Venice.
Have you always wanted to be a photographer?
Of course - All I ever want to do is take pictures.
If you weren’t a photographer, what do you think you would have done for a living?
A painter, a sculptor, a potter, a chef...I would still be a creator.
Which person, place or object has had the greatest influence on your work?
I have been heavily influenced by the culture of the 60’s and 70’s; The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Eazy Rider - pop artists generally. They all had these insatiable, free spirits - and most importantly they were all full of originality.