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FRAME TOKYO members interview vol.3

In this new project, the members of FRAME TOKYO interview each other to find out who they are which they don't usually talk about. In the second interview , Shingo Chill interviews Shoko, who has her own unique world view.



Shingo:

Today I’ll be speaking with Shoko for our third Frame Tokyo member interview. Hey, Shoko!


Shoko:

Hey Shingo!


Shingo:

Outside of Frame Tokyo, you’re also a member of another photography group called Tokyo-SPC, right?


Shoko:

That’s right.


Shingo:

How did you get involved?


Shoko:

Before I was really aware of street photography as a genre, I was already taking photos on the street. At that time, a friend of mine who had been shooting street photography for many years told me about VoidTokyo, and as luck would have it they were holding a group exhibition at that time. I saw some of (VoidTokyo member) Kawara Chan’s photos and was impressed, so I decided to go to the show, which was a really cool experience itself.


Shingo:

What happened next?


Shoko:

When I went to the show, I met three other photographers: Nuts (Yusuke Nagata), the founder of Tokyo-SPC, co-founder Koichi Enomoto, and Tokyo-SPC member Nanami (Ryusei Nagano). Another friend introduced us, and we ended up going out drinking together. After that, we went shooting and drinking together another 2 or 3 times, and somehow or other I ended up becoming a member too. (Laughs)


Shingo:

Nice, that sounds like a lot of fun. (Laughs)


Shoko:

The funniest thing is that the friend who introduced us says they don’t even remember doing it. (Laughs) But in any case, I’m really grateful to them for connecting me with the guys in Tokyo-SPC.


Shingo:

Wait, really?


Shoko:

Yep, they don’t remember it at all. (Laughs)


Shingo:

So after that, you became involved with Frame Tokyo?


Shoko:

That’s right. Ever since I first heard about Frame Tokyo I thought it was a wonderful group and I’ve always been cheering them on in the background. Whenever I met Takeshi at exhibitions or parties, he’d say to me, “Shoko, why don’t you join Frame?”, or “Shoko, don’t you think your photos fit Frame’s vibe?” - part of me would think “yeah, maybe he’s right”, but another part of me thought he was just kidding. I was afraid that if I actually said yes I’d get turned down so I just replied with something non-committal each time. (Laughs)


Shingo:

So what made you decide to actually join?


Shoko:

It was when we had the joint group exhibition with VoidTokyo, Tokyo-SPC and Frame Tokyo. Looking at Frame’s part of the exhibition I made up my mind that I wanted to join, and I said so then and there. I’m really grateful to everyone for being so welcoming.


Shingo:

When I first met you and Kyosuke it was at that exhibition. Actually, it was the first time I’d been a part of anything like that, so I wasn’t sure what to do and ended up going back out to shoot soon after. Sorry about that…!


Shoko:

I remember thinking you disappeared pretty quickly. (Laughs) But it’s great to be doing all sorts of things together as a group and I can’t wait to talk more.


Shingo:

All right, last question – can you tell me about a photographer you admire?


Shoko:

I’m a fan of Jesse Marlow from UP, who is a photographer based in Australia. There was a photo he posted on his stories one day that I liked, so I sent him a fire emoji – I wasn’t expecting him to reply saying, “Thank you, Shoko!”. I wrote back saying that I really liked his photos and wanted to support his work going forward, and our casual conversation ended up with him asking if I could show him around Tokyo one day.


Shingo:

Wow, that’s awesome! And quite a privilege to get to take care of a photographer you look up to.


Shoko:

Definitely. I ended up showing him around Ginza and Shinjuku with a friend. He was a great guy and a real gentleman. One moment from that day was particularly memorable.


Shingo:

What was that?


Shoko:

Rain was forecast for the day we were due to meet. I figured that someone travelling to Tokyo from abroad was probably too busy and worn out to be checking the weather forecast, so I brought an umbrella along for him just in case. It ended up raining as forecast and he was so grateful.


I was already kind of moved by that, but what really impressed me was when he gave the umbrella back. It was folded even more neatly than if it were brand new. It gave me the same impression of him as the impression I get from his photos: sensitive with a careful eye for detail. It’s not really a story about photos, but… (Laughs)


Shingo:

Not at all, it’s a nice story!


Shoko:

What I learned was that all kinds of opportunities can open up for you just by telling someone you’re a fan of their work.


Shingo:

That’s so inspiring! Thanks so much, Shoko!


Shoko:

Thanks for having me, Shingo!


In the next issue, Shoko S. will interview Shingo Chill, who, as his name implies, makes everyone around him feel relaxed and at ease. Look forward to it!


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