Uchujin 2016 Review – Part 1

Year of the monkey ©Uchujin-AdrianStorey2009

Well…We’re here again, the end of another rotation around the sun.
This is a year I will never forget as it was the year I finally escaped Japan – after 10 years and 1 day exactly.
5 months in to my rehab/recovery and I can honestly say ….. well I could write a book on how I feel about the whole thing, but I won’t for everyone’s sake….Let’s just say, so far, it feels 99% like the right decision.

As I settle into my new life the only things I miss from that god forsaken set of islands off the coast of China are my dear friends (that was always going to be the hardest part) and natto, and I’ve found a natto supplier close by…

I’m splitting this years end of year look back into 2 pre and post Jexit (see what I did there? Topical :) posts to make them less ridiculous to read and because that’s how the year has felt.

A big thank you to the friends (new and far away) and colleagues who made it as always an interesting, productive year.

Thanks also to the clients who hired me and gave me the opportunities to work on some interesting and diverse projects and a pre-emptive thanks to all the new clients who are going to hire me in 2017 to do amazing work for them…

So settle in for part 1 of the run through of the bastard that was 2016……

January

 

Whilst I was hiding my scary tattooed body away from the poor easily frightened Japanese people in a private hot spring bath 2016 started the way we were soon to understand it meant to go on, with the death of David Bowie closely followed by actor Alan Rickman

 

I published my collaboration video with calligrapher Nakajima Hiroyuki promoting his upcoming aptly named “LIFE” exhibition. (All shot on an iPhone 5s by the way…)

I visited my dear friend Sean Lotman and his family in Kyoto (probably for the last time) , managing to be there for the 1st birthday of his son.

Shibuya Panorama with guest Mt Fuji appearance ©Uchujin-AdrianStorey2016-01-11_
Mt Fuji was peaking between the buildings in Shibuya…

Kimono Dreams ©Uchujin-AdrianStorey2016
My wife looked awesome in her kimono on a visit to Kawasaki Daishi…

We published the first episode of an ill fated collaboration podcast “You’re not from ’round here” with Matthew Downs a rice farmer on Sado Island.

 

And most days my head felt a bit like this….

Feburary

Koji Kakinuma - Calligrapher ©Uchujin-AdrianStorey2016
In what was to turn out to be the beginning of a great friendship I interviewed legendary calligrapher Koji Kakinuma for the documentary I’ve been DPing and producing in 2016, “Traces of the soul” about calligraphers worldwide…

Eiichi "Scart" Miyamoto and Bearded Uchujin - A bromance ©Uchujin-AdrianStorey2016

The awesome talents that are Eiichi & Atsuko “Scart” Miyamoto finally (seriously Eiichi….finally!!) opened their gallery in Tsukiji and I was lucky enough to get riotously drunk with them at the opening party…

I interviewed super lovely guy and talented calligrapher Hiroyuki Nakajima for the second time, again for “Traces of the soul”…

"The Strangers" Kevin Mullin & Annemarie Luck ©Uchujin-AdrianStorey2016
After a shoot for his “Strangers” fashion label (All the product and look shots over on the site where shot by me) I grabbed a quick portrait of my dear friend Kevin Mullin and his writer/editor soon to be wife AnneMarie Luck

 

I went to CP+ 2016 with Matt Allard from Newshooter and even ended up with my first cameo of the year in the video:)…

We published the 2nd and what turned out to be final episode of the “You’re not from ’round here” podcast this time with the awesome Anthony Davis

 

Shibuya grafitti ©Uchujin-AdrianStorey2016Spotted a great paste-up in Shibuya alongside a new 281_Anti nuke sticker…
uchujin-adrianstorey2016-02-06_dsc00757
And I was enjoying taking pictures of the fucked up-ness of Tokyo again thanks to the low-light capabilities of my recently purchased Sony A7SII and having my hand firmly on the exit door…

We lost Dave Mirra, Vanity & Harper Lee among others….

March

I was hanging out with my new girlfriend…

And taking photos of Matt Allard for News shooter while he tested the Tokina 100mm PL mount Macro on his serial number 2 (!) Sony F35…

Matt Allard testing the Pergear MTL900 Pro light ©Uchujin-AdrianStorey2016
Matt Allard and I also went to NAC in Tokyo to test out some $1300 Arri Sky Panels and while we were there we tested my $70 Pergear light with some interesting results…

Underworld played a secret gig in Shibuya and I was at the soundcheck and got to meet Karl & Rick…

I was shooting for a personal project using the Varavon Birdy cam

Nakajima Hiroyuki in Shinjuku ©Uchujin-AdrianStorey2016
I also used the Varavon on another shoot with Nakajima Hiroyuki, and shot some great timelapses involving him too…

Grandma and I fully agreed on the whole situation…
We lost George Martin, Keith Emerson, Paul Daniels & Ronnie Corbett

April

purplerain-big
Sometimes it snows in April, and this year it most definitely did prompting me to write my 1st (and probably last) blog post on a celebrity death…

I half killed myself trying to keep up with Koji Kakinuma on another shoot for “Traces Of The Soul”

newsshooter.com
I did the motion graphics for the new News Shooter ident which plays at the beginning of every video…

I spent several hours a day with my head in After Effects working on my short film…

I held a $20,000 paint brush at a secret shoot…

My good friend the talented and lovely Laura Liverani was in town and she had an exhibition of her Ainu photographs at a sneak peak of the Ainu documentary she is working on…

I had given up not trying to frighten people when I went out…

The toilet at Scart Gallery had a polite request…

As well as the Purple one we lost Amber Rayne & Victoria Wood

May

Koji Kakinuma ©Uchujin-AdrianStorey2016
Once again I was shooting with Koji Kakinuma, this time him producing some amazing very large scale calligraphy pieces on a 3-day multi-cam shoot at his new studio outside Tokyo.

There was some interesting wallpaper in the toilet of a restaurant I was in…

I took possibly my favorite instagram photyo of the year at the Ryan McGinley exhibition which was otherwise a little underwhelming…

"let the poets" series photo on bbc.com/future
Some photos from my “Let the poets cry themselves to sleep” series were published on BBC Future

I was filming with Icelandic DJ/Producer Arni Krisjanson for his crowd funding campaign…

There were some interesting parties…

Most days I wanted to scream this at the top of my lungs…

There was brief respite from losing people…(obviously thats not true, but there was a brief respite in losing people who had touched me in some way)

June

I went to Bali for “Brightening horizons by paying it forward” and directed/shot & Edited a video promoting the Banyumala Jungle Waterfall Trek in Wanigiri village.
It was awesome…

It was a scary place to be a vegetarian tho…

I released my parting shot to Japan short film “Not With A Bang” the result of literally months of work (read a little more about the process here)…

Hiroyuki Nakajima’s “LIFE” exhibition was on at Bunkamura in Shibuya and he was showing the film we collaborated on to promote it (see January above)…

My 43rd Birthday cake

It was (as it always is in June) my Birthday…

And I looked like this a lot, the two of which may or may not be related…

We lost Muhammad Ali, Kimbo Slice, Prince Be & Bill Cunningham

Mostly I was crazy busy with personal stuff because of what was about to happen in…

Part 2

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