Last weekend I had the honor and pleasure to shoot calligrapher Koji Kakinuma producing two of his internationally famous large calligraphy pieces at his new studio outside Tokyo.
Since shooting an interview with him a few months ago Kakinuma San and I have become friends so I was able to witness and film the total process from studio & ink preparation through to the packing up of the finished pieces, as well as enjoying several sake soaked meals with him and the crew from the studio.
It was really amazing to watch this incredible artist and the amount of preparation that goes into producing works on this scale logistically, mentally and physically.
It was also an emotional shoot because it marked the end of many months of shooting for a documentary movie being produced in the UK about calligraphy worldwide which I have been producing, directing and shooting the Japan section of.
I have had the honor of meeting and working with some really great artists and lovely people and learnt a great deal about calligraphy and the working processes the artists employ.
It has also been an amazing experience working with Directors/Producers Martin Cooper & Tam Solo in the UK who have reminded me of what working with people on a long form project like this should be like.
I will be sharing the trailer for the film here as soon as I can and really look forward to my continuing involvement with the project.
I would also like to extend my deepest thanks to Kakinuma San, Nakajima San (if you are in Tokyo be sure to check out his “LIFE” exhibition at Bunkamura in June which I also collaborated with him on a short film for) And Shinzan Roshi for allowing me to film them and their still evolving friendships.
Also a big shout out to Eric Jason Hall for additional camera on the Nakajima shoot and Masato Gunji San and Keisuke Orikasa San for additional camera and sound recording on the Kakinuma shoots. Big respect and thanks to you guys!
****UPDATE – Kakinuma San wrote about the weekend on his blog too http://kakinumaism.jugem.jp/?eid=1047 it has some more photos (some with me in:) ****