“Megumu”, “Bambi” and “Mei” by Yuki Kasai-Paré

“Megumu”, “Bambi” and “Mei”, are limited 18x24 inch prints on satin wide format paper, available tomorrow at The Letter Bet online store. 


 

The TLB specialty print program is about working closely with like minded artists to create prints that can be purchased online by our community.


Yuki Kasai-Paré is a Montreal based photographer. She has been taking photos on and off for 5 years now. 


TLB: How has location influenced your work in the past and present? 


YK-P: The location directs how I shoot. If possible, I avoid indoor studios at all cost and try to work outside or in a lived environment. I also try to avoid planning ahead before I get to a location where I’m shooting. It doesn’t really matter what country or city I am in, but I need to let go, and trust that the energy, the colours, the lighting, the history of a space and how it makes me feel, will bring the shoot where it’s supposed to go. I do have a special attachment to my hometown Miyazaki, Japan though - no other place inspires me creatively the way it does. However since being in quarantine, I have been thinking a lot about how I could bring down my attachment to locations, and try to see how I can transform, and get inspired by spaces that are right in front of me.


TLB: How does your connection with the subject elicit a successful shoot? 


YK-P: It might sound cheesy to say this, but I put most value in the quality of the time that I spend shooting with the person or with the group. I think that the more authentic of a connection I have, the more it reflects in the emotional and textural depth of the photo. I guess that's why portraits are the most fascinating to me. I love taking portraits of people I already know very well, or if I meet someone for the first time, I take the time to talk and get to know their vibe. I don’t really like imposing my vision onto anyone, I mostly work in reaction to what the person evokes for me. I guess it doesn’t matter who it is, I just really need some sort of trust between me and my subject so that we can get into a sort of shared flow. Because I know how violent photography has been for many including myself, trust and respect is the most important thing for me when taking photos of a person. It’s about minimizing the ‘taking’.


TLB: What other mediums have you explored with your work?


YK-P: I also paint. I have a very different relationship to it compared to photography. Photos are a kind of letting go of the ego and ‘reaching out’ to the world, whereas painting is a process of ‘reaching into’ my ego, feelings and moods. I’ve been thinking of ways to bring those two moods together, but I’m still working on it. 


TLB: How has your work evolved over the years? 


YK-P: I don’t really know to what degree it shows in the work, but my relationship towards photography has changed a lot over the years. In the early years I used to see it as a result-oriented craft: that all that really matters is how much beauty and strong emotionality I can contain in a rectangle. But now I consider it more as a craft of affect and relationships. I focus more on what is beyond the frame and trust that there’s a realness in the moment that will come through the final image. I trust that I’ll keep evolving, or at least transform further in the future. 



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