Japanese photographer Shin Noguchi presents his country's culture with beauty and humanism

Noguchi has been documenting his native Japan for more than a decade, and was first attracted to street photography after reading about the renowned photographic agency Magnum

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The Independent Culture

Shin Noguchi has been documenting his native Japan for more than a decade, capturing unusual events and remarkable instances throughout its cities. Now based in Tokyo and Kamakur, 30 miles to the south-west of the capital, the 38-year-old was first attracted to street photography after reading A l'est de Magnum 1945-1990, about the renowned photographic agency, as a teen.

"Before I saw that book, I'd thought that art and documentary were opposites," he says. "When I looked at the photographs, I was surprised to see them not only reflect the various emotions of daily life but also express the photographers' artistic opinions by taking in such elements as composition and timing, as well as light and shadow."

It is important to Noguchi that he presents his country and its culture with excitement, beauty and humanism. His is a discreet, poetic and enigmatic approach to the everyday; none of his pictures are staged.

 

The first photograph in the gallery above was taken in the Shibuya fashion and entertainment district of Tokyo in 2013; the image at the top of this story is a scene from Nagai, Yokosuka, in the south-east of Greater Tokyo, in 2011. But that is as much information as Noguchi is willing to give about the shots. While his work does accentuate certain parts of a photograph, he prefers viewers to work out the bigger picture themselves, to "walk through the world of my photos with free-minded imagination.

"I want viewers to enjoy the extraordinary moments and at the same time, I want them to appreciate the fact that these moments can happen anywhere and at any time," says Noguchi. "The question is whether or not you can find or see them."

For more, and to buy prints: shinnoguchiphotography.com. Noguchi's work can also be seen in 'The Street Photographer's Manual' by David Gibson (£14.95, Thames & Hudson)

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