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Atom

Country: Japan
Birth: 1980

ATOM is a Japanese photographer, born in 1980, based in Tokyo.

ATOM spent years travelling around the world to take pictures; he visited 64 countries in total and encountered many cultures and many people. The experience gained from the trip raised many questions for himself.

What does it mean to life, coexistence with nature, happiness and purpose of living for? And the fundamental question is, "Why am I born in Japan in this age?"

By leaving Japan, he reconsidered his homeland and pondered about living as a Japanese and a modern people. Conscious of his identity as a Japanese, he uses the motifs of symbols that symbolize Japan, takes a photo of the present age, and prints it on the most precious handmade Japanese paper in Japan.
Using these media, ATOM decided to deliver the message to the world.

In today's diverse world, ATOM hope that you will face yourself and think about the future through the work of ATOM.

ATOM has been active as a photographer in the world. His works have been published internationally in publication such as Washington Post(USA), My Modern Met(USA), Weather Channel(USA), 20minutos(Spain), incredibilia(Italy), Hong Kong and others. He also won many international awards.

ATOM will continue to experience many things, and explore and express the meaning of living in the present age as a Japanese.

HINOMARU, KIMONO and TORII
HINOMARU is an alias name of the Japanese flag.
KIMONO is a Japanese traditional costume.
TORII is a gate commonly found at the shrine.

In the photos, ATOM use the Japanese flag, traditional costume and shrine to symbolize money (economic power), declining birthrate and dilution of community. For some, they may seem to represent Japanese religion (Buddhism, Christianity, and Shinto). For others, they may associate the "red circle" with harmony, coins (money), countries or peace; the "red kimono" with their lover, health or cross (religion); the "red torii" with home or relationship with their family.
This minimalistic photo is two colors red and white. The colors of red and white represent Japan's national color. And in this photo, he shoot it so that it looks like a Japanese painting without a shadow.

This minimalistic photography series raises questions to the modern society, makes the viewer face and think about the present age as well as imagine the future. Today, we live in a rational, material world; we have too much information, and too much stuff. We can get almost anything with a single click. In exchange, however, there are things we have lost: health, appreciation for things we are given, time to spend with our families, time to think and question ourselves, the definition of happiness...

Get promoted. Be rich. Become famous. Are you not bound by these stereotypes? How long will you keep pretending to be something you are not, just to gratify your vanity?
What is happiness to you? What does abundance mean to you? What is it that you really need?

From the age of materialism to the age of mind.

Look at these minimal photos.
How do they look to you?
 

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As an optometrist and photographer, Larry is avid supporter of Seva Canada, an international non-profit organization who is a part of VISION 2020, the global initiative for the elimination of preventable and avoidable blindness in the world by year 2020. Source: www.larrylouie.com Interview with Larry Louie All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Larry Louie: I knew when I was about 16 when I received my first real camera and I was experimenting exposures. AAP: Where did you study photography? LL: Self taught. AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model? LL: I do not have a mentor, but I have master photographers whose work I greatly admire and I study their amazing portfolio of works: Josef Koudelka, Sebastiao Salgado, James Natchwey. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? LL: I have been regularly photographing since 18 years of age but in regards to the documentary work, only for the last 8 years. AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? LL: My first shot that I liked was the color image of 2 women taken in Jodphur, India. I call it the Blue City image because of the predominating blue color of the city. This image was placed second in a National Geographic Traveler magazine photo competition. AAP: What or who inspires you? LL: Great work that has passion in the subject. That is why I like the works of the above artists I mentioned. AAP: How could you describe your style? LL: I like B&W documentary work that evokes one's curiosity about mankind and his struggle with the surrounding environment. AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? LL: I like 2 of my latest series: "A Working Day in Dhaka" and my latest series "Tondo, Manila" (will be up on the web within this month). AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? LL: I use Canon 5D Mark3 bodies, 24mm f1.4 prime lens, 85mm f/1.2 prime lens, and 24-105mm f/4 zoom lens. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? LL: I don't do too much editing. I do not crop my images and very minimal photoshop besides converting it into black and white and some burning and dodging. I do most of my editing the week after I return on a trip. The images are used for my website, to produce prints, calendars for fund raising purposes. AAP: What are your projects? LL: Please go to my website. My latest projects have been concentrated on the working poor and people who are stuck in the bonds of poverty, especially children born into poverty and child laborers. AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? LL: Josef Koudelka, Sebastiao Salgado, James Natchwey. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? LL: Photograph what gives you passion. The best work will come through. Shoot, shoot, shoot. AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? LL: Being cliché. One should be original. AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share? LL: My wife and I are working presently with an organization named "Philippines Community Fund" whose goal is through education to enable a generation of children to escape from the cycle of poverty to which they are born into, and in doing so create a better and more sustainable life for them and their family. PCF today funs a four storey school in Tondo, Manila providing education, food, healthcare, and other support services for nearly 600 children from the nearby garbage dump and cemetery. AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? LL: To be able to help and raise funds and bring attention to issues that makes a significant difference in the lives of the people we photograph. AAP:The compliment that touched you most? LL: A thank you and a smile from the people who we touched during our visits and who in return touched us with their graciousness. AAP:If you were someone else who would it be? LL: I am happy with who I am and what I do. AAP: Your favorite photo book? LL: "The Sahel" by Sabastiao Salgado. AAP: Anything else you would like to share? LL: No, I would like to thank you for your interest in my photography.
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