TokyoGirls'Update

“Goodbye, Youthful Days” Exhibition’s Opening Event Report : Goodbye, school. Goodbye, boring old self. Even though I’m not sure where I’ll go from here

さよなら、ユースフルデイズ  〜さよなら学校。さよならつまんなかった自分。行き先はわからないけど〜
“Goodbye, Youthful Days” Exhibition’s Opening Event Report :  Goodbye, school.  Goodbye, boring old self. Even though I’m not sure where I’ll go from here

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To celebrate the release of the photo book “Sayonara, Youthful Days”, The photography exhibition Sayonara, Youthful Days ~Miss iD 2015 x Yuki Aoyama~, is being held at Asakusabashi’s TODAYS GALLERY STUDIO (period : from June 21st to July 27th). TGU attended the exhibition’s opening event, and we’re back with photos and an exclusive interview with photographer Yuki Aoyama.
*See more details of the photo book “Sayonara, Youthful Days” and Miss iD : http://tokyogirlsupdate.com/miss-id-yuki-aoyama-20150647999.html

Upon arrival, our eyes fell on the extra large panel of the photo book’s cover.

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photographs only available for viewing here at the exhibit, as well as photographs from past archived work of popular modern fetishism artist and photographer Yuki Aoyama, for a total of over 400 shots.

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Opening Event

Three members, Rie Kaneko (Miss iD 2015 Grand Prix), Raimu (Miss iD 2015), and Tsukasa Kobayashi (Miss iD Producer) participated in the talk event.

Packed with genuine fans who had gathered and waited in the rain, the talk started by revisiting the photo shoot session led by Kobayashi, and so on.

It began with a story by Raimu, with her practically perfect, photographic doll face. She admitted to not remembering much about the photo shoot itself but mentioned that, “Even though we did the shoot at a popular park, hardly any people passed by,” and as Raimu described memories of her unique outlook, the tension in the gallery disappeared at once into a cheerful atmosphere.

In addition to her good looks, Raimu possesses a presence that is uniquely cute.

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And Rie Kaneko (Miss iD 2015 Grand Prix).

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Rie, with her expression on the cover and her forlorn expression in a shot of her dressed in a simple white t-shirt, embodies the title’s phrase “Goodbye, youthful days”. Though just a teenager, she’s a model with presence.

Thinking how well her simple, loose-fitting shirt was a perfect matched for her innocence, Rie’s secret story of how, “Actually, I was just wearing my father’s shirt,” totally blew me away!

Speaking of which, both Rie (right) and Raimu (left) appeared in uniforms, which was a very rare and precious sight!

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When all was said and done, the most surprising thing that came up during the talk event was the large amount of rainfall. For the photo shoot, out of ten models, besides two (*the two models were shot on the same day) it was cloudy with rain and skies were gray. It made me feel like even the weather was doing its part to elicit the girls’ forlorn looks.

Towards the end of the talk, although it hadn’t been listed on the schedule, photographer Yuki Aoyama made an appearance!! Having Mr. Aoyama himself, the one that actually did shoot, also participate in the talk caused a huge uproar throughout the gallery.

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And then the talk event finished in the same calm fashion from beginning to end. Hearing the models speak while surrounded by their own pictures allowed us all to see a different view from the photographs themselves, and it was very interesting.

Interview with Yuki Aoyama

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– Why were only 10 models, or those you could call “teenagers”, selected out of Miss iD 2015 for the photo book?

Aoyama : No matter who was selected, it was bound to create some hard feelings, or rather, even though I would have like to have included everyone, compared to other idol auditions, Miss iD has a wide age limit and there were many girls in their 20s, but from the beginning I’ve felt more confident shooting school girls as subject of my photographic work, and then when you narrow things down to one theme of something ending and something beginning, I felt students would be great for that, and then further narrowed it down to the finalists, the girls that took home a prize. Girls in their third year of high school will soon no longer be able to wear their uniforms and that JK (school girl) part of them will be lost, like a period of their lives are ending, and I felt (that theme) was good and decided on it.

-Besides the photobook you released from the publisher “San ji Zero ji”, it seems like the phrase “Goodbye, youthful days” has frequently appeared in your work, so does this phrase have a certain special meaning to you?

Aoyama: Since I shoot under the theme of adolescence, for me the phrase “Goodbye, youthful days” is a treasured one, and at the time I went through puberty I couldn’t even talk to girls, under the delusion that there was such a distant presence of pureness about them, and like that I became an adult. Through my work I became able to talk to girls, even though during my own time as a high school student I couldn’t talk to them, but the “girl” existence and the separation was fascinating to me, and with that meaning it’s a phrase I’ve used over and over again or has been one I’ve always been focused on, so I can’t seem to part with it.

– I’ve heard that you leave it to a female assistant to even fix a single hair, so is there anything you’re careful about when you’re shooting girls?

Aoyama: “When I’m shooting it’s a main principle of mine not to touch the model and I make a point to keep as much distance from the model as possible. Usually it’s common to talk and be friendly before shooting, and since I’ve become an adult I’ve been able to keep friendly contact as a part of business, but back then (when I was a student), I couldn’t get close to girls, and because I couldn’t do that, I don’t have a good sense of distance.”

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-Since you shot Taiwanese girls for your photo book called Taiwan Cute, I was wondering if you could tell me the difference between Japanese cute and Taiwanese cute.

Aoyama: “I think the meaning of cute is a very broad one, but what is good about girls in Japan and what is good about girls in Taiwan is something completely different, so if I were to talk about Taiwanese girls first, I felt like the cuteness of Taiwanese girls is their “naivety”, although that might not sound positive. But the extent of their shyness very much felt like naivety. But generally for Japanese girls I think it’s their “prevalence to sensitivity”, and feel like there are many girls who have honed the skills to make themselves look cute. I’ve always thought that was very good thing, that there seem to be so many Japanese girls eager to find what’s cute.”

-I can see what you mean.

Aoyama: “I felt like for Taiwanese girls it’s ‘not consciously being cute’ and for Japanese girls it’s ‘consciously being cute’.”

−−
Yuki Aoyama’s activities not only extend to Japan, but overseas as well. Mr. Aoyama’s photographs made me feel like I had gone back in time to that period of “adolescence”, and left me with bittersweet feelings. I felt a wide range of feelings rise within me like “cuteness”, “sadness”, “excitement”, “a tingling sensation”, from the photos by Mr. Aoyama of the ten teenage Japanese girls. It a wonderful exhibition that carried away the dreariness of the rainy season, and is one I hope everyone is sure to visit.

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On the 28th a closing event will be held, including a talk show with Hiroshi Aoyama and a few models, as well as an autograph and handshake meet. It’s an event that cannot be missed!

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Event Information 
【Exhibition Period】(Sun.) June 21 – (Sun.) June 28, 2015 11:00 -19:00
【Place】TODAYS GALLERY STUDIO
〒111-0053 Asakusabashi 5-27-6 5F, Taito-ku, Tokyo
【Entrance Fee】500 yen
【Sponsor】BACON / 03-5908-3917
【URL】http://www.tgs.jp.net

【開催日時】2015年 6月21日 (日) ~6月28日(日) 11:00~19:00
【会場】TODAYS GALLERY STUDIO 〒111-0053 東京都台東区浅草橋5-27-6 5F
【入 場 料】500円
【主催】株式会社BACON / 03-5908-3917

Related links
Yuki Aoyama official site : http://yukiao.jp/
Miss iD official site : https://www.transit-web.com/miss-id/

BUY ITEM
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Sayonara, Youthful Days 

Photo by Kenichi Inagaki /イナガキケンイチ
Translated by Jamie Koide

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Author
Chika Kobayashi
Chika Kobayashi

Challenges on model, music, illustration, but she always feels that she's just a beginner in every genres and became negative all the time! Trying to be a top Menhealer & model writer in Japan! Also, works as a staff of ekoms and her skill of sales is quite high. Twitter : @para428

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