Tokyo Tales #5: Nikosono

In the era that anyone can be a self-claimed photographer thanks to smartphone & photo editing apps, French-Australian photographer Nikosono, presents how he perceives beautiful things around him, which was mother nature of Australia.

It's unfortunate that he can't come back to Japan for this exhibition in Mitaka from July 14th to 22nd, but thankfully, he allowed me to interview him via e-mail. 

Q: what was the very first motivation for you to pick up a camera & start taking photos?

I think I simply like the magic of it when I was a kid. It was even more obvious until the late 90s when learning photography involved printing your own images into a dark room. 

This activity has a strong bond with reality and magic indeed. The lights, the shadows, the colours and the contrasts in the same place with the same subject are forever changing throughout the day.

It is limitless. I guess it has been one of most attractive thing when I started to create images.

Q:Was there any specific experience that told you this is the way to go as your career?

One experience (and one important reason) for going this way as a career is that creating an image as a message make it a universal one.

I’m very excited to know that a vision created by myself can be shared with anyone around the world without necessarily speaking the same native language.

Shooting with different types of people (in portraiture photography) or in different locations (aerial photography) make the job very enriching for the soul too.

Q: Can you explain what makes you release the shutter?

It is unfortunately a question I still try to answer to myself on a daily basis. 

As photographer, there is obviously this recurring relationship to time as a philosophical concept, time passing by, time being stopped or captured, times being recollected, etc… 

So yeah, there is probably something I want to stop in time, but it is something I always enjoy to share. 

Q: Even before heading to a location, do you have any vision in your mind foreseeing how they should look in the end?

Not for the Australian Biotope series. Even if I did try to check some locations over google map at the end of the project, I reckon the strongest images are the ones made without a plan or google map.

The only plan was to book an helicopter pilot and pick a specific place too shoot. The rest of the visions were completed once we were actually flying.

Q: Is there any universal message that you want to deliver us throughout all your works / projects or is it different from a pic to another?

I guess most artists regularly drive their main principles or values into everything they do. If my dreams of peace, respect and tolerance can be sensed in everything I do, I would be one of the happiest photographer in the world.

Then projects are different so they obviously carry their own messages. For example, the “Australian Biotope” series is all about respecting and contemplating the Australian environment.

Having said that, I’m always cautious with the messages I try to transport with my photographs because I don't want them to be overwhelming. 

I kind of cherish the fact any viewers could make their own stories from what they see (especially when looking at the abstract)

Q: Please tell me your impression on Tokyo or Japanese society.

I have always been impressed by how much each individuals are respectful with each others.

That respect can be experienced in their daily life, when you observe and contemplate the many kinds of enhancement (of architectural, technologic or logistic nature) the Japanese society creates. 

Q: What is the theme of ongoing exhibition in Tokyo?

The theme is not a specific one as such but all the images from the “Australian Biotope” series are focusing around the modifications or/and the damages done the humans on the environment. 

Overall the featured images can be read on different levels. Spiritual when the eye of the viewer can recognise some abstracts shapes revealed in within these frames. Philosophical when vivid colours are mixing with the immensity of these Australian sceneries. 

It can be also political and raise a crucial question behind the apparent “beauty” of these aerial images: Does humanity really need to dig and “abuse” natural resources as soon as it discovers them?

Finally, and on a lighter note, the current year of the exhibition (2018) coincide with the 10th anniversary of the creation of the “Australian Biotope’ series.

When I started to travel with an helicopter the north region of Western Australian, back in 2008, I always knew I would produce a photographic series to shows my respect and fascination for the Australian landscapes and its biological components and elements.

But I also concluded that it should be a series of fine art prints that you could hang in a gallery, a museum or as part of an interior home design set up, and not just a collection of touristic imagery.



Australian Biotope

at Shirogane Gallery, Mitaka

5 min walk from South Exit of

JR Mitaka Sta., Chuo / Sobu Line 








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Tokyo As It Is

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