Mizuki Osada

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I met Osada about seven years ago. She had just graduated from photography school. She had partnered with a classmate and launched a production company whose cornerstone was their own photography. She was just twenty and dealing with the dual pressures of filling the roles of photographer and business proprietor. Being both an adventurous photographer and also a disciplined businesses person is quite difficult. These days in Japan, when you get a job doing photography for advertisements or businesses, it seems that artistic photographic activity declines and so for that reason, most photographers pursue some kind of job outside of photography while pursuing their artistic endeavors on the side. Photographers that can make a living doing purely artistic work are almost non-existent.

Osada was born in Shizuoka in 1988. While she was in high school, she discovered photo albums by the likes of Hiromix and Ninagawa Mika in the library. After graduating, she immediately began knocking on the doors of photography schools. This was in the era when so-called “girly photos” were on the rise.

In photography school, the kind of photography she liked differed vastly from that of her peers and for that reason, she was always anxious about what they thought of her work. The best she could do, she realized, was study harder and focus on improving her technique to build a space of her own. At the time, she didn’t have any clear idea of what she wanted to do in the future and figured she could just become a camerawoman for a magazine, but along with photography, she also studied web design. She was thus offered a job with a web design company shortly after graduation. After some wavering, she went ahead with launching a company with her classmate.

I’d like to introduce some of her work with this issue.
Simply showing the profile of a person’s face makes it more difficult to glean their individuality. It does, however, more successfully demonstrate the contours of their face as well as the texture of their skin.

In the millions of years between the birth of landmasses on this planet and now, mountain ridges were formed, giving birth to valleys and lakes. Osada has said that a person’s face, which forms over a mere few decades, rivals its geological counterparts in nobility. These photographs include both her portraits and landscapes, and express her respect for her subject matter.

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