Art project in Tokyo with Pavel Kosenko and Yelena Aframova

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Mar 26, 2014 – Apr 4, 2014

Genre: Street, Art

The workshop has been completed

Manager: Елена Афрамова

Photos of the workshop participants

Here you can view the photos, taken by the workshop participants. These are the best works, selected by the master in the process of joint discussions.


© Natalia Tutova

© Anastasia Kuznetsova

© Anastasia Kuznetsova

185 photos from 10 authors

Lead photographer

Pavel Kosenko

Colorist photographer. Devout color explorer and an author of numerous articles on photography and image processing. An author of The Living Digit book (published by Treemedia in 2013). A co-founder of the Fotoproekt, a chain of photolaboratories and a photoschool. An organizer and participant of a number of photo tours across Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East and other regions. An author of a very popular Russian blog on photography and travel.

List of participants is visible to the club members, who have attended at least one workshop.

About the workshop

"Mono no aware" — can best be translated as "an empathy toward the beauty of the things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera". The flowers of blossoming sakura are extremely beautiful, but the beauty lasts for only few days a year. This is why, the flower viewing – hanami – is a celebration, the one, which is probably the most important for the Japanese.

Blossoming of sakura is, perhaps, the most precise metaphor of the Japanese culture. And you will have a chance to touch and see it with your own eyes.

This trip is a group art project, led by Pavel Kosenko and Elena Aframova, who lives in Tokyo and is specialized on the studies of the cultural life of Japan. At the same time, this is a travel experience, a chance to meet friends, a practical workshop in street ad genre photography, and a join work on an art project. As a result a photography book will be published, and distributed to all the participants.

Program hide

Day 1
Wednesday, March 26

Arrival day.
Check in to the hotel right in front on Roppongi Hills complex. A dinner, during which we will be able to meet the group.

Day 2
Thursday, March 27

Some rest is needed, so no early breakfast is planned.
10:00 −11:00
After the breakfast we meet in the hotel to discuss the program, and leave for the old town. We get there together, but on arrival divide into groups for the first photo session.

First point:

Sky tree — the tallest TV tower in Japan (640м) — overview of the old town from above to get a general perspective.

Five minutes in the underground and we are in Asakusa, where we shoot photos individually.

Third and fourth points:

Capsule hotel and a nostalgic amusement park.

The narrow streets of the old town are particularly photogenic in the evening light, you might forget here that it's XXI century now.

Here you can also shop for souvenirs (the shops close at 6pm
Willingly, you can join the group for dinner in a traditional restaurant, where you can also share the first impressions. Then, back to the hotel in the underground, an interesting place for photography in itself.

Day 3
Friday, March 28

Optional program

Wake up time 4:30am.
Tsukiji Market is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. In the morning, a tuna fish auction is taking place, a unique experience to see and hear. After the photo shooting, you can also have the freshest sushi right next to the market.

The market is planned to be relocated in March 2015, so it's the last chance to see it in its historical location. It is important to bear in mind that you have to be there no later than 4:30, since only a limited number of visitors are allowed daily. After 10am – time for rest.

Those, who have chosen not to go to the market, have time to shoot in the area of the hotel – Roppongi.

First point:
The so-called Art Triangle, which includes the Roppongi Hills, Midtown, museum of design, as well as the National Art Center, is a modern functional space of the megapolis of Tokyo..

Second point:

After lunch we meet in front of the underground station next to the hotel, and go to Tsukuda, where we divide into small groups once again.

Tsukuda is a compact, traditional and non-touristy area, mostly populated by fishermen.

Hanami — we have a chance to indulge in flower viewing along Sumida river next to Tsukuda.

What to shoot: daily life, hanami.

Third point:

We catch several taxis and leave for Ginza – the first street in Edo (original name of Tokyo), the first market street here, which also used to be the fashion avant-garde.

What to shoot: elegant Tokyo dwellers, streets lit with neon lights.

We meet for dinner in a BBQ place (yakitori) right amidst the office workers, who come here to eat and relax after the working day.

It's time now to show the first photo results – we gather up in the meeting room of the hotel to discuss the photos from the first two days

Day 4
Saturday, March 29

After the breakfast we gather up again, and discuss the photos shot during the third day

First point:

We leave to Nippori district. Here, we can see reincarnation in action.

It's one of the largest Buddhist cemeteries in Tokyo. Old sakura trees encompass it, so we will once again join hanami. Families with children, companies of youngsters right next to the graves – laughing, drinking, eating and taking photos all day long.

There is a lot to see as well in the same area outside the cemetery.

Second point:

Ueno city park, with the largest hanami. A self-made "settlement" of homeless people – the most organized and civilized homeless in the world. This settlement in fact is a world in itself, living independently from the Mayor of Tokyo. Sakura blossom and homeless people – interesting contrast.

Third point:

In the evening we go to the night market of Ameyoko – after WWII it used to be a black market.

Day 5
Sunday, March 30

8:30-10:00 — third discussion of the photos taken

First point:

We take underground to the main Shinto shrine of Tokyo – the most prestigious place for weddings. Traditional weddings are very interesting from the point of view of photography, and no-one is against being photographed.

Second point:

Off the area of the shrine, and we are amidst the youth of Tokyo – ultra-modern youth, you can see all kinds of people here. Hipsters, goths, Lolitas, metrosexuals, and anyone else you can think of. Joint lunch in one of the great restaurants in the Omotesando Hills complex.

Third point:

Another city park. A place where local "Elvis Presleys" are gathering up each Sunday, music all around, people dancing, playing, having parties or sleeping – with the Tokyo rhythm of life, a good sleep is one of the most precious things.

Fourth point:

Five minutes ride in the underground, and we're in Shibue, a crossroad, with highest turbulence in the world, with two million people passing it each day. Perfect place for street photography.

Day 6
Monday, March 31

9:00-10:30 — fourth discussion of the photos taken.

First point:

Marunouchi district, and the lunch break of the present day samurai - the office worker. Marunouchi is like Manhattan in New-York, plus the Emperor's Palace, the Tokyo Central Station as well as the Tokyo International Forum are all here. Lunch break starts at noon sharp, and last for exactly one hour.

Lunch in a restaurant on the 36th floor with a great panoramic view. Time for rest.
Second point:

Another ride in the underground, this time to Shinjuku.
Shinjuku is the business and trade center, dense and lit by neon light, with myriads of people passing by, and is also the "red light district" of Tokyo, especially the Kabuki-cho part of it. Next to it bohemian Golden-gai with its bars, and the area of gay-clubs.

Day 7
Tuesday, April 1

Fifth discussion of the photos made.

Odaiba — how the Japanese saw the XXI century before it started. An artificial peninsula, build on waste with futuristic architecture.

First point: the road to Odaiba

Second point: time for some rest, so we visit the hot spring complex on Odaiba and relax in onsen. Later on, we have a dinner all together.

Back to the city on monorail, watching the city in evening lights.

Day 8
Wednesday, April 2

We take the underground, and in only 40 minutes arrive to a completely different city - Yokohama. This is the second largest city in Japan, the largest port in the country. A city alike Disneyland, where you can get from one world to another in no time.

First point:

Minatomirai 21 – literally means the port of the future, but is an absolutely real place. People live here, work, rest, the second tallest building in Japan, the Landmark Tower, a huge ferris wheel, beautiful seaside area and sakura, endless restaurants and shows catering to all tastes.

Sixth discussion of the photos, the final one, in a meeting room in Minatomirai 21 complex. Sushi and some drinks – a good way to ensure a positive discussion.

Second point:

Motomachi, Yamashta park: a place, which used to be the European settlement, and where Erast Fandorin stayed, when he lived in Yokohama – a place where presently Yokohama dwellers have rest.

Third point:

Chinatown: you have to be here in the evening. Steaming chinese pies, red chinese lantern, dragons, people constantly eating, food shops, and a very tasty food indeed. Perfect place to have a dinner together.

Back to the hotel in Tokyo.

Day 9
Thursday, April 3

Hurrah, a free day!

Perfect chance to get back to some place, which you liked the most, or go to a museum, for example.

It's the end of our art project, and to make a full circle, once again we get up to the viewing platform of the Roppongi Hills.

Now you know well what mono-no-aware is. It's a little sad to leave. But we still have time for the final dinner in Gonpachi restaurant – a place which gave Tarantino the idea for making the set for the "Kill Bill" movie. It's also a place, where ex-prime minister had dinner with George Bush. A famous restaurant with great food and surprisingly accessible prices – a nice place for photography as well.

Day 10
Friday, April 4

Departure day.