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Dark Fantasies

Japanese photographer Miya Kishimura pulls you into a dark world of fantasy from which it is difficult to escape. A school girl in uniform with desperate eyes. The same girl with grotesque make-up. In another shot she lies on the street, seemingly dead. This is Kishimura’s world.

Friday March 21, 2008
Miya Kishimura

But Miya Kishimura also creates disarmingly romantic scenes that take you into a suspended feeling of happiness and yearning.

“I like weird moods,” explains the shy photographer. “I want to show things that you can’t experience in daily life. It touches me when I see something that shouldn’t be, in a place that shouldn’t exist.”

The thought seems to make her philosophical for a moment. “I probably don’t like reality. I don’t like people very much. People bring lots of trouble, don’t you think? Because I don’t like reality, I sometimes just want to fade away.”

Kishimura’s dislike of reality turns out to be a major inspiration for both her work and life. “To make reality enjoyable, even a little bit, I take photographs. She then points at her herself. “Clothes, earrings, tattoos, these are all things I do to have fun.”

Photos by Miya Kishimura

Kishimura first became inspired by photography when she was around 16. “I saw this CD jacket that was really cool,” she recalls. “What’s this, I wondered, so I checked out the person who shot it. I completely fell in love with that person’s work and photography became something important to me. I started to see photos in everything around me.”

Photography came natural to Kishimura. “My father loved shooting photographs. There were always many cameras at our home. I think I felt a deep closeness to photography because of that. That made it very easy to become a photographer.”

Photos by Miya Kishimura

This familiarity however has not created the confidence you’d expect. “Anybody can push the shutter on a camera,” she says modestly. “I don’t feel like you need any special talent for it. I have no confidence. None whatsoever. That is probably why I feel so intensely happy when my work is praised.”

Her work carries no message, she explains. “As long as I have fun shooting that is enough for me. I don’t have goals. I just want to spend life laughing.”

Photos by Miya Kishimura


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