KT: How did you get into photography? When/what was your first encounter with visual media?

KK: My father had bought a camera for me when I was born. I saw my family getting photographed with that camera and later started using that camera myself. I am really careful when I use that particular camera.

KT: You have published two photobooks in 2017 ‘Tomodachi’ which means ‘Friends’ and ‘Words’. What do you like about the medium of photography in the book format? What were the difficulties you faced in making these two books?

KK: Rather than a photo album, I thought that I would like to make a book like a picture book that children can understand. It was a challenge to express the universal feeling of family love, pleasure and entertainment in my photo books but it was a fun attempt.

KT: Your work revolves around subjects like – Family love, childhood moments, parent-child relationships. Talking about your photobook ‘Words’ where you attached a camera to the ceiling of your family home for two years and the camera automatically took a picture every ten minutes, taking over 100000 photos in total, offering an unadulterated record of the life of a family. On what basis do you select your subjects? What was your fascination behind this project?

KK: This body of work involved taking a picture automatically every ten minutes using the time lapse function. At first, I was taking pictures with a remote control but then I noticed that the documentary aspect disappeared with the remote control. Hence, it ended up becoming a photograph of a family without a lie.

The title of this body of work is ‘Words’. When I saw the figure that my bride and my son were asleep, I felt as if I was wrapped in something. Even though I was asleep, I thought that they were connected to me by something. It may be love. Is there no longer need for words there? That was the meaning of the title of my book.

I wanted to choose photographs with gentle feeling, photographs that make me smile when I see them. I think family love will not change in any country in the world. By looking at this photo album, I am happy if it comes to the love of families who tend to forget every day or to think about my childhood. I think that by fighting love for families and children, there will be fewer conflicts from the world. Because it knows that the other person also has family members and children.

I want a world without conflict. I think that it is important to love family and children for it.

KT: Your books are created with sophisticated humour which offers intrigue to both young as well as mature audiences. Talking of your photobook ‘Tomodachi’ in which you photographed your son every time he went to poop on the toilet, capturing the fine differences in his facial expressions – from the toughest fight to clear expressions of boredom. What is the intent behind this approach?

KK: My son has not been able to wipe his ass by himself yet. When he goes to the toilet he was calling out to go with me to wipe his ass. I have been observing the way he excreted for the longest time. Of course, he is completely unaware of what I see. I am indifferent about being photographed. Children are willing to work hard on everything. It is eating, playing, and excretion. I was touched by such a hard appearance. I think that it is also shown in the photographs.

Then why does he excrete very hard? I have a doubt. I noticed that children’s libido is related to it. Sigmund Freud says that anal sex exists in paedophilia. Children are excreting to get pleasure. I think that is a human being itself. People need pleasure to live. I think that is the case for most people. Such modernity exists on the other side of the door where we can not see usually as modernization progresses.

KT: With your self-induced visual storytelling, focussing on personal and intimate relations, what do you want to achieve with your photography in the end?

It may not be an answer to your question but as the artist is a message, a message is put in his work. When speaking with other people, what kind of words are chosen and what kind of contents do you speak? Through my work when I say something publicly, I would like to talk as positive as possible. Especially for these two pieces, it is love for family and children.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe that by loving around me, I can also love people nearby. If such people increase, less selfish people will be fewer, I think that each dispute will decrease. I want to eliminate every contest from the world. I do not want to cause a war. Most of my parents who have children think so. My picture does not show the terrible or sad appearance of war. Through my work, I hope to regain feelings of warmth and hope for peace of daily life.

Photos©Koichiro Kimura