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2019.06.07

Personal Best vol.24 | Alex Liverani

Gears

  • FUJIFILM X100F

Story

Choosing a photo for a photographer is not easy. We are connected to our images almost as if they were our children, expressing a preference amongst them is nearly impossible. I thought choosing three would be easier. This choice ended up being anything but simple.

Before I can explain the reason for my choice, I think it is necessary to make a premise. Three colourful spheres on a wooden stick, become the most famous japanese dessert: the DANGO.
“Hana yori Dango”
This is a japanese saying that literally means: “better dango than flowers”.

This expression is used to refer to the people who attend the Hanami, the tradition of enjoying the beauty of flowers, especially during the Sakura season, when the cherry trees blossom. However, people seem to be more interested in eating dango than appreciate the beauty floral spectacle.

With the book “DANGO”, I attempted to create a visual investigation of Japan, with the intent of questioning this saying, by building a sequence where content and aesthetic form have the same value.

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A rapid succession of triptychs, in which images apparently unrelated to each other find a strong connection, as it is for the three colourful dango spheres.

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I wandered the streets of Tokyo and Kyoto with the X100F and the X100T round my neck, searching for everything and anything.

The last day in Tokyo, I was at the airport waiting for my flight back to Italy and found the underground ticket that I had used the previous days to move around the intricate nipponic capital in my pocket. I started playing with it folding it multiple times. I suddenly stopped, I had an epiphany. The ticket was folded in three parts. This will be the structure of my book.

That became the concept for my editorial project, I didn’t want the book to only be the container for my images, but also and above all the aesthetic form that sets off the contents.

Now I have told you all of this, I can explain the reason for choosing the triptych with images connected by yellow and light blue tones. I believe this is the triptych that can best represent my vision of Japan, a rigorous, precise and neat country. At the centre of the triptych, the only bit of litter paper, probably from a biscuit wrapper, that I found on the street. For me, building triptychs is about creating an aesthetic, compositional and chromatic harmony, but also to give meaning to an hypothetical situation invented during the editing. I like to fantasise that the person carrying the light blue umbrella dropped the litter paper under the watchful eyes of the guard, within a set where spatial and chromatic quality are virtually perfect.


DANGO is the winner of the JURORS’ PICK at the LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2018

About DANGO:
CHRISTY HAVRANEK. DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY – Huffington Post

ALEX LIVERANI HAS CREATED A STRIKING SERIES OF TRIPTYCHS, EACH FILLED WITH STOLEN MOMENTS CAPTURED AROUND JAPAN. THIS WORK IS BOTH WHIMSICAL AND GROUNDED IN TONE. WITH CLEVER FRAMING AND MASTERFUL EDITING THAT NEVER FEELS CONTRIVED, EACH TRIPTYCH CAN STAND ON ITS OWN OR LIVE WITHIN A RICH, EVOCATIVE SERIES. THAT, TO ME, IS A RARITY.

If you want to buy dango: http://www.inquadra.org/projects/dango/

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