• Like stills from a deranged nature documentary—more David Lynch than David Attenborough—Yoshinori Mizutani's Pop Art parakeets dart across colour-saturated skies. Looking up, Mizutani takes aim, shooting the squadrons of feral dandies that take flight at dawn and dusk above Tokyo's cityscape. With their rose-ringed necks and acid-green feathers, these bicoloured immigrants are the offspring of birds that were introduced in the 1960s and 70s and can now be found in their hundreds, roosting in trees and perched on the telegraph wires that slice through urban vistas.There are no two ways about it, spotting birds in Japan's metropolis that were once native to the subtropics, in this case southern India and Sri Lanka, is bizarre—as it is in any of the other global locations where the descendants of pet [...]

  • Girl Friend Boy Friend, the latest monograph by renowned photographer and filmmaker Richard Kern, showcases his talent as a portraitist, and his stylish flair as a uniquely attuned cultural figure. Kern, the much sought after photographer of young women and men who exude vivid hipster cred, as well as a distinctive naturalistic beauty that transcends simplistic categories, and reveals how certain strains of youth culture look in this era. Kern’s penchant for capturing unadorned yet magnetic subjects has been influential over several decades, and his vision has been so prevalent, that one can take for granted how instrumental his photography has been in representing and defining alternative taste, and the particular ways young people express their identity, and identification with music and fashion culture.Kern recently spoke with George [...]

  • In his book Mountains of the Mind (2003), Robert McFarlane suggests we hunger for the clarifying power of mountains, particularly now that we can feel increasingly overcome by complex daily existences. The New Zealand-born photographer Conor Clarke’s most recent work finds her imagining epic mountain ranges amongst the chaotic building sites of Berlin. Appealing to primal senses of wonder and play, the images unsettle expectations whilst activating memories both of actual vistas, as well as any number of representations of landscape to be found throughout the histories of art and photography. Ultimately, the images in Clarke’s work re-construct for us a model of the world as picture, as proposed by William Gilpin’s 18th century articulations of the “picturesque”, albeit in a post-industrial urban context, as well as [...]

  • Visual artist Lucia Pizzani (www.luciapizzani.com), the joint winner of the Hotshoe Photofusion Award 2014(www.photofusion.org/hotshoe-photofusion-award-2014) along with filmmaker David Jackson, currently has a solo exhibition titled A Garden for Beatrix showing at the Cecilia Brunson Project (www.ceciliabrunsonprojects.com) in London until 24 July. In the following Q&A, Miranda Gavin, who selects the winners in this annual competition, discusses Pizzani's approach and the work she produces using ceramics, photography (including wet-plate collodion processes) and film.Her recent body of work, A Garden for Beatrix, is inspired by Beatrix Potter and her findings on fungi at a time when few women were involved in science. Miranda Gavin (MG) Lucia Pizzani (LP) MG: Your work uses sculpture, performance and photography, can you tell me more about why you work across these different art forms? LP: I started doing photography when I was a teenager [...]
  • Japanese artist Fumiko Imano (b. 1974) studied Fine Art and then Fashion Styling and Photography in London in the late 90s. French fashion designer Charles Anastase was one of the first to recognise her work, commissioning her to shoot his campaigns and sparking a working relationship that continues to this day. Whilst Imano’s fashion work has a vivacity and lightness that are just the right qualities for its commercial imperative, her personal work demonstrates an approach that is spontaneous and yet highly nuanced. Imano makes self portraits where she appears at turns coquettish, vulnerable, upbeat and melancholy. The set-up is often domestic and staged economically – she might be sitting at a kitchen table concealing her face behind a huge melon, addressing the camera from behind her desk or just [...]
  • Deciding which photography bookshops to visit on a trip to Tokyo is not easy – there are so many good ones. Japan has been at the forefront of photo book publishing for decades – and Japanese photographers have often worked with books, rather than exhibitions in mind. In addition, retail is something the Japanese do extremely well. All transactions, from the prosaic to the extravagant, are conducted with a sense of decorum and an attention to detail.  But I think SO Books, (introduced to me by Tomoki Matsumoto of T&M Projects) might be one of the best. The shop is long and narrow, with a small desk at the back. It’s well-lit, beautifully organised, quiet and full of books, from floor to ceiling. When I met the owner, Ikuo Ogasawara, he [...]