Shoichi Aoki

Shoichi Aoki is a Japanese street photographer, who noticed a rapid change in the fashion of the youth in Japan, which began in the Harajuku district of Japan. This new sense of style was unique to Japan, and unlike many other international fashion (think Paris, New York, London) it was not concerned with trends or sexualization of the individual. Instead this fashion is a combination of traditional Japanese dress, thrift finds and self made items. It is best known for being colorful, eccentric and over-abundant. With these street photographs, Shoichi Aoki began three magazines – Street following London street style, Fruits focused on the girls of Harajuku and Tune for the guys.

When I was younger, I temporarily went to school in Kyoto, Japan. Because of this experience, Aoki’s documentation fascinates me. Japan is a mix of extremes – the high-tech and the traditional, the minimalist and the extravagant, the uniforms and the rebellious. Aoki portrays this well in his photographs. He attempts to remove himself from the image because he finds these styles so fascinating as they are. As he says, he is just ‘collecting my subjects’. This style of dress brings their inner thoughts and personalities to the surface, and it is simply his goal to capture these.

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