somewhere, nowhere, anywhere
Portrait work about young Japanese who have left Japan in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.
A series of portraits by Michael Kuchinke-Hofer, inspired by the films "Lost in Translation" and "Somewhere" by Sofia Coppola. Like the characters in the films, the Berlin photographer's protagonists are on a quest. The staged photographs were taken in places that underline this feeling. The young Japanese woman is standing there in the snow. She seems a little lost, disoriented. Like a still from a film, stopped at some point. Or the young Japanese man behind the window at the entrance to an anonymous apartment block somewhere in Berlin. His gaze directed outwards, as if waiting for someone or something. The Japanese that Michael Kuchinke-Hofer portrays in his pictures - musicians, artists, dancers and other creative people have come here to develop in a city outside their country, to go their own way, to do what they could not so easily realize in Japan.They do not feel like "typical" Japanese; but here, in the places where the photographs were taken, they are somehow also foreign, have not yet arrived at their destination. The Berlin photographer, has his protagonists pause on some evening, uses the light of the hour and the atmosphere of twilight or night. No classical Japanese photo gestures with peace signs, no smiles for the camera. Even though the pictures were taken in Berlin, these moments could have taken place anywhere in Europe. Somewhere or nowhere or anywhere else.
Text: Marion Conrady