I have recently fallen in love with the photographer Osamu Yokonami’s work. The above photos are from her project 100 children. I think that it is a lovely idea. Below is part of an interview by The Raw Book.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Kyoto and graduated from Visual Arts College in Osaka. I worked for Bunka Publishing Bureau assisting a freelance photographer. I eventually became independent and [began] working on my own projects in working with editorial or advertisement work at the same time.
What is beauty to you and how do you define beauty?
[Anything] pure and innocent.
Film or digital? Why?
Film, because every film has their [own] meaning and is important to each.
What’s the story behind your first camera?
My parents bought me a camera first. Afterwards, I tried to take pictures by following the example of photography magazines.
Tell us about 100 Children. What inspired this project?
I had a chance to take portrait of local children when I went to Thailand as a photographer for a children’s magazine about 5 years ago. At that time I wondered what if I could take pictures of them with local fresh fruits. I found that it showed the personality of each child so much that the children even made the same movements.
What’s the orange that the children have between their shoulder and ear?
We called it decopon in Japanese. It is a type of citrus fruit – sweet orange with a lump at the top.
Why are all of the children wearing the same clothes?
When they wear the same clothes, their personalities or characters become more distinctly.
Also, why aren’t the children smiling? Is that deliberate?
As they really tried to keep the decopon between their shoulder and ear, they became very serious.