Interview

Hajime Art

Hajime Art is a photo artist from France. All his creations are realized exclusively in his house (cellar, garage, bedroom), alone or with his wife. He sets the stage, sets up his camera, his wife releases the shots. All the utensils he uses for his art he gets from recycling yards, from charities or collects them himself in nature. Then he changes and transforms them.

Please introduce yourself

Hajime Art is two persons, my wife and me. We’re living in France. Our project started three years ago when I discovered photography.

 

Where exactly in France? Does your place of residence inspire you to take pictures?

In some sense, we are “homeless” in transition between the South of France and the East…. The place of residence doesn't inspire us, but the residence, the house itself. In fact, all the photographic creations that we have made were created in our house, in every room of our house, from the cellar to the attic, etc.

 

Do you have a background in photography?

I’m a self-taught photographer. I started photography three years ago when I bought an SLR for my wife. No formal training just being inspired first by Lee Jeffries and his “Homeless” book. So I started to learn with a self-portrait in b&w. That's how the story began!

 

But how comes that you are interested in photography? The SLR camera was originally for your wife, right?

I was at home for sickness for 5 months. I had just bought a new SLR for my wife, and alone all days on, I started to be interested in photography. It’s as simple as that!

 

Which photographer has inspired your photography?

Lee Jeffries, for his strong b&w portraits.

 

Why do you work in black and white or color?

No preference: b&w or color. It depends on my mood, of the kind of work that I want to create. And the place in my house. - I first started with b&w photos, for the message that I wanted to show, and then came new kind of creations, funnier but highly colored, and then I decided to start with colored creations.

 

How do you prepare for a photo? 

It takes time, sometimes a lot of time, sometimes one year like for the
“Homo Fastus” piece. First, I choose the place in the house where the next creation will take place. Then comes the time to find a good spot in our house, from the basement to the attic. The time to glean the accessories in waste disposal centers, charities (Emmaüs)*, in nature, on the side of the roads. The time to modify them, divert them into new ones. The time to glue on, to sew on, to knit, to draw, to paint all those items. In our house, nothing is thrown away, everything is recycled for new creations, or to realize the frames of our projects.

 

What are your technique and creative process?

I only use a 28mm f/2.8 lens and a tripod, and sometimes a remote when my wife is featured with me on the photo. I adjust the parameters of the SLR, my wife finalizes the scenery, my position in front of the camera, the position of the accessories, and “Shoot”…

 

Which projects would you like to embark on?

I would like, now, to try to make some creations outdoors. But we have also many other projects, and series, especially in our future new house, a big farm with a lot of places in the barns….

 

What do you do in your life besides photography?

I work in medicine as a field service engineer, in hospitals and clinics. But when I’m not working, I enjoy cooking listening to music, my second passion, and thinking for new creations… to be continued!

 

*Editor's note: Emmaus is a movement to combat homelessness and poverty. It was founded in 1949 by Abbé Pierre in France and has been organised worldwide in the umbrella organisation Emmaus International since 1969. 

Thanks a lot Hajime Art for the Interview

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