Friday Inspiration: Miho Kajioka

I’m sat here trying to work out how I came across the work of Miho Kajioka. It took me a few minutes but I think that I’ve reconstructed it. I tend to hopscotch around from a photographer I read about in this book to digging into who else did the book publisher work with and on and on.

I recently came across IIKKI, a collaborative project between a visual artist and a music artist. IIKKI publishes books and pairs them with music releases. What a cool idea. Their latest release is a book from Miho Kajioka paired with music from Ian Hawgood and Craig Tattersall. And we’re off to the races.

Miho was born in Japan and then moved to San Fransisco to study fine art painting, where she was introduced to photography as one of her classes. Miho returned to Japan where she was working as a journalist when the Tsunami devastated the Fukushima area. Miho returned to art and photography to help her process what she was seeing. I’m glad she did!

I have seen her photography described as ‘snapshot’ photography which struck me as odd, since her photographs look nothing like my snapshots! Working in the traditional darkroom to make silver gelatin prints she works her negatives, some more than others, to reveal her vision. I’m fascinated at the moment with trying to reverse engineer Miho’s technical process. How does she achieve those creamy whites and the delicate blacks?

Her work is also giving me insights into my own tastes and how my work could evolve. I like the simplicity in her images. They are frequently paired down to just the essence, often juxtaposing contrasting elements. For me this makes a stronger statement and gives me space to think.

Check out more of Miho’s work at her website here and listen to her describe her journey and her work in the interview below.