TIFA 2022 Interview with Haruka Fujita
1st Place winner in Science, Professional, “A Bubble”
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you develop a passion for photography?
I studied sculpture in Japan and Italy, and have created and exhibited these art works mainly in Italy and Japan. The reason I started taking photos was to introduce some of these works of mine. In order to convey the concept of the work, and to present the work in an effective and impressive way, I learned photography techniques and repeated shooting through trial and error. From there, my passion for photography itself grew gradually , and began presenting my photographs as works of art. Sculpture and photography have a different flow of time, and it was very exciting to capture the moment in a photograph, such as something that is beautiful but disappears fleetingly, like a soap bubble. Light has always been one of the themes of my art work, and the mechanism of photography that incorporates light and draws an image has developed a new path for my work. Now, photography is an important part of my creative activities, and I feel that there is still a lot of potential in this medium. And there are many works that I would like to create in the future.
Q: Could you provide more details about how you captured this award-winning photograph? What was the main idea behind it, and how did you go about constructing it?
The soap bubbles that I photographed and presented to this competition have fascinated me since when I was a young child. Light has always been one of my major themes, so I had always hoped to someday complete the vivid colors of light created by soap bubbles as my art work. For that reason, I learned how and why such beautiful colors come to existence, about light interference, and about the composition of a soap solution and its environment in my self-study. The soap bubbles are so small and ephemeral; they dissipate into the air, but on the other hand, they change their colors dynamically. I was interested in this ambiguity and wanted to turn them into a piece of art. It was a really exciting finding for me that such ordinary things can be very dramatic if we look closely. The fragile, capricious bubbles were very difficult to control, and I struggled with the reflection and lighting, but when I saw the finished photo, it absolutely made my day.
Q: What does it mean to you to get this award?
I am very humbled and honored to receive this wonderful award, and I would like to thank everyone at TIFA from the bottom of my heart. I am very grateful for the opportunity to show my works to many people around the world. And being recognized with such a prestigious award, shows that I have been on the right path and gives me the courage to continue. It would be a pleasure if some of the people who have seen my work, start noticing the unique world surrounding us, which is not ordinary but actually, extraordinary.
Q: Photography is a great medium for communicating various messages to people. What are your thoughts on this tool and how do you use it?
Photographs allow photographers to share their perspectives and experiences with others through this superior medium. I believe that photography deepens people’s thoughts, which in turn, enriches their lives. And I think that this shared experience can lead to major social movements. Photos can also be very effective records, and will continue to influence societies beyond time. I would like to continue my work being immersed in these infinite possibilities of photography.
Q: What would you say best describes your photography and your style?
I am drawn to ambiguity, or contradiction. I like to observe, and when I change my perspective, I can discover these various elements that attract me but I usually miss. If we look at the world around us, there are many mysterious and beautiful things, just as we would on a trip to the unexplored world. I explore these wonders scientifically and develop them into a work, just as I did with my soap bubbles. My plan is to continue to focus on such phenomena and aspects in the future, too.
Q: What one thing do you wish you had known before you started taking pictures?
My journey into the expressions in my photo may have gone more smoothly, if I had more knowledge about cameras, lenses and other equipment. I also wish I had started taking pictures when I was a sensitive, young child. I would have been interested in find out what kind of pictures I would have taken, with the freedom of a mind that only small children have.
Q: Could you tell us what photography gear you personally like to use?
I have a lot of favorite gear. I’m at a loss as to what to choose. I have made a set by myself with materials that I bought from a DIY shop, which I also love, as much as ready-made equipment. Making these tools for photography feels like an important creative process before I start taking pictures.
Q: What would you say are some essential tools for new photographers?
It is very difficult to answer. There is not just one essential tool but I feel that there are various things. It is the most important thing, I believe, is to be moved by the subject, and it will always be important to me.
Q: Whose work has had the greatest impact on you?
I was very fascinated by Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Seascapes series. Photographs are basically to capture a moment, but in this series of works, I was very impressed by the universal scenery that exists beyond time.
Q: What are your future plans? Do you have any exciting projects going on right now that you could tell us about?
I would like to continuing developing my work on soap bubbles, in addition to a different subject. I’m still in the process of trial and error, which I’m enjoying myself trying to find out what kind of work it will be. When my new work is completed, I would be honored if I could show it to the world through TIFA.
Q: If you had limitless funds for a dream project, what would you do?
First, I would use and test as much of the photography gear as I can. Also, I would like to gain insights from scientific experts in the objects of my interest to create a new series. And finally, although it might sound like a cliché, I want to travel around the world taking pictures.