SAYURI ICHIDA (Brooklyn, USA/Tokyo, Japan)
Sayuri Ichida was born in Fukuoka, Japan in 1985, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She studied photography at Tokyo Visual Arts College and continued her growth as a photography artist while working as a studio assistant at Iino Media Pro in Tokyo, Japan. In 2009 she moved to London to pursue an independent career as a fashion photographer. In 2012 she moved to New York where she has been transitioning her style from fashion photography into contemporary photography.
Mayu is a Japanese New York based ballet dancer, she works for the New York Theatre Ballet. We are both immigrants from Japan, and our paths to New York were somewhat similar, with both of us spending a few years in Europe. Through this series, I wanted to express our struggles and loneliness as single women living far from our country. Dancers usually perform on stage, but because I shot Mayu on location, the combination of a ballerina and outdoor scenery makes the series feel somewhat unnatural in a way reminiscent of our shared experiences. I also did not want to shoot her in a typical dancer’s portrait style. I wanted to try something unique so I decided to shoot her as if she is an object in a frame. I kept asking her to express something different from beautiful formal ballet dance. Everything she does as a dancer is so beautiful, so I asked her to not be too beautiful.
Practice Statement: How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?
As an individual photographer, I find film to be the medium that best enables me to see images as I want to capture them. Film gives images a physical existence, which to me is tangible throughout the entire creative life cycle – from conceiving of and composing an image, to releasing the shutter, to developing the film and post-processing the photograph. The entire process and all of its physical elements enable me to maintain the highest level of honesty and engagement with my work. And frankly, I also find film aesthetics to be much more pleasing and suitable to my aims. I like how film’s graininess and imperfections infuse images with a timelessness and nostalgia that cause people to wonder whether an image was taken one or twenty years ago.