Home is where the heart is.
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Fresh from photographing Japan’s creative young hot shots for The Just Kids Issue (and actor Shota Matsuda for the cover) non-stop jet-setting photographer and i-D fave Takay began preparing for his exhibition ‘Another Day’. Taking place in his home away from home, New York, the exhibition showcases pictures of people and places from two countries on opposite ends of the culture spectrum, but both of which Takay has called home. From the Japanese Tokyan town of Koenji to our more familiar territory of Hackney, ‘Another Day’ is a collection of monochrome memories of a life lived in two different worlds, one vibrant and raw, the other in urban flux.
i-D online got some home truths from the photographer turned family man.
Tell us a bit about ‘Another Day’. It’s portraits and landscapes of where I used to live in Hackney for 15 years and then another place called Koenji in Tokyo where I used to live before I moved to London. There’s something similar. The people I shot in Hackney were mostly kids and landscapes and also in Tokyo I shot a lot of kids and landscapes. The two places cross over, different people, a different life but something connected. This is kind of my concept.
Where are your favourite places to hang out in Hackney? I love where I used to have a studio, which is more like London Fields, Mare Street. When I started living in Hoxton, in 1996, it was not a great area, like it is now, I moved up Stoke Newingon way. I also love all the Hoxton streets.
Where’s home at the moment? New York.
What makes a place home? Now I have a child and wife and dog it’s different. Now New York is home. When I say home I mean family and friends.
Why did you not include New York in your exhibition? I wanted to show it in a completely different place to where I shot it.
What makes a great photo? For me, when I take pictures of people, 90% is what the model is giving to me. For still life and landscapes it’s different- time and feeling, atmosphere. It’s hard to say only one thing that makes a great photo.
Who is the most beautiful person you’ve ever photographed? My wife and my mama!
And place? All places are beautiful for me.
If you could live anywhere where would you live? Hawaii. That’s my dream. It would be nice to live half and half, half Hawaii, half New York.
How was it being back in Tokyo and shooting the young up and comers for The Just Kids Issue of i-D? I hadn’t shot young Japanese people for a while, I shot them 6 or 7 years ago and now young kids, especially in fashion, they don’t care about what brands are cool, they just pick up what they like. It’s very interesting. Music also, it’s more independent than American culture and fashion. That’s my feeling. There’s a changing mentality.
What’s next? I want to keep doing portraits, that’s my life’s work and also fashion, so I’m going to keep doing editorials, like for i-D! I want to do more exhibitions and a book. Definitely in 1 or 2 years.
Another Day opens this evening at Nepenthes, New York.
Text: Felicity Kinsella